The Albino Asparagus.
White Asparagus
Resources > Food > Vegetables > Asparagus > White Asparagus

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White Asparagus varieties are the same botanical species as the more normal green varieties, but with White Asparagus growing stalks have been intentionally deprived of light by piling up soil over the emerging shoots. The process known as "Etiolation" is mostly practiced in the hilly European growing regions and creates the white color. because without sunlight the tender Asparagus shoot cannot produce Chlorophyll, which gives it the green color. When the slightest sight of a tip protrudes from the earth, the plant is picked.

White Asparagus, also known as “White Gold,” “Edible Ivory” or the “Royal Vegetable,” is very popular in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland, where the local languages typically describe “Asparagus” as White Asparagus and have separate words to describe green Asparagus. They make the distinction because White Asparagus has a gourmet culinary reputation and is less bitter and more tender, than its green counterpart. Their flavor is mild, earthy and nutty.


Season

White Asparagus is typically categorized with the Spring Fruit & Vegetables, because they're harvested March-June. The actual harvesting date depends on the weather and the region. White Asparagus is best as fresh as possible.

Availability

Cultivation

Production

Varieties

Purchasing

White Asparagus stem thickness indicates the age of the plant, with the thicker stems coming from older plants. Older, thicker stalks can be woody and Peeling Asparagus, at the base will remove the tough layer. Look for bright, white, odorless White Asparagus stalks with tight, dry tips but moist cut ends. Select White Asparagus spears that have a uniform thickness so they will cook evenly. Don’t buy limp or wilted stalks.

The bottom portion of White Asparagus often contains sand, grit and dirt, so washing is advised before prepping or cooking it.

Storage

Keep fresh White Asparagus refrigerated. White Asparagus can typically last 3-5 days, refrigerated. Store in a plastic bag with the cut ends wrapped in a moist paper towel to prevent drying. If the tips become slightly wilted, you can refresh them up by soaking them in cold water. Keep fresh White Asparagus moist and cool until you intend to use them.

Keep frozen White Asparagus in the freezer until they are ready for use. Read the label on the package to determine if the frozen Asparagus product should be thawed or used frozen. If your frozen White Asparagus defrosts, cook it immediately. You can also freeze fresh White Asparagus, but Smart Kitchen recommends blanching fresh White Asparagus before freezing it. Do not refreeze thawed frozen White Asparagus of either kind, fresh or frozen. Use any frozen White Asparagus within 8 months.

Culinary Uses

White Asparagus are more versatile and do not need to have their color set with an Ice Bath after Blanching, Steaming or Simmering. White Asparagus is a good choice if you plan to use an Asparagus for Braising, though you should not let them Brown. Some root vegetables like Parsnips or others like Endives, do well with browning and Caramelizing to bring out their natural sugars. With Asparagus, caramelizing makes the vegetable look and taste "muddy."

Portion Size

Allow 2-4 White Asparagus spears per person.

Pairings

Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Peanut Oil, Truffle Oil, Unsalted Butter, Goats Cheese, Fontina Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, Fresh Dill, Dried Dill, Fresh Chervil, Garlic, Cayenne, Caraway Seeds, Bread Crumbs, Fresh Basil, Fresh Parsley, Dried Parsley, Dried Basil, Artichokes, Ginger, Leeks, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest, Mayonnaise, Pasta, Chicken, Beef, Fish, Shrimp, Oysters, Pork, Seafood

Nutritional Value USDA
ASPARAGUS,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 20
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
4%
Potassium 202mg
1%
Total Carbohydrate 3g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes