Our new season asparagus hits the supermarket
Spring brings longer days, warmer weather, and Kiwis’ favourite delicacy, asparagus! One of the true seasonal produce, asparagus are a spring time treat that are only around for a few months of the year.
Asparagus can be quite polarising; but if you love them, you can’t get enough of them and the fact that they aren’t available all year around, makes them even more desirable.
Our asparagus grower, Mike Arnold, says that the farm in Chertsey in the South Island was hit by snow recently.
“The recent cold snap, hasn’t impacted our crop. It’s slowed down growth but temperatures have warmed-up again which will help the crop grow quicker,” he says.
“Our asparagus are unique to the area. The cooler nights help lock in the sugars and flavor, making our asparagus sweeter and juicer, it also creates that lovely green colour in our spears.
“Our bunches have hit the supermarket shelves a little later this year but the good news is that they’ll still be around after Christmas,” he says.
Asparagus are simple and easy to prepare and extremely versatile. Whether you eat them raw, fried, shaved, boiled, blanched or barbequed, they’re a perfect accessory to any meal you like.
They’re perfect as a side dish, cut-up in a stir-fry or in your favourite pasta dish, they really can be added to anything.
“The season of asparagus is short so you need to get in quick and enjoy them whilst you can. I love asparagus as the hero dish, slightly blanched and add some lemon and salt,” Mike says.
Asparagus is a great source of dietary fibre and folate, including vitamins such as niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins B6, C and K, and potassium.
Carmel Ireland from 5+ A Day Charitable Trust agrees that asparagus are a good vegetable to include as part of your daily 5+ A Day.
“Asparagus are a great way to boost our vegetable intake in the most delicious way. Make sure you include a bunch in your weekly groceries, especially now when they are in good supply and are good value.
“Being so versatile means you can find ways for the whole family to enjoy them. Nutritionally, they offer a good source of vitamins and minerals which are important for maintaining good health,” she says.
Our asparagus bunches have already hit the supermarket and are available from now until the end of December, with peak season throughout October and November.
Take a listen to Mike Arnold talking about the new season asparagus: