It is needless to say that white asparagus is famous for its uniqueness and delicacy in the United States as well as a major part of Europe; they call it the “king of vegetables” and the “edible ivory.” From the botanical point of view, white asparagus is pretty similar to the green asparagus. However, the major difference lies in their agricultural production method.
Unlike green asparagus, white asparagus is grown in the absence of sunlight. This prevents the development of chlorophyll, which is responsible for the green color. White asparagus is not a commonly found vegetable, and it is labor-intensive as well. Moreover, it is found in some colder parts of Europe, such as Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Also, white asparagus is a short-seasoned vegetable.
White asparagus is a product of “blanching.” In horticulture, blanching is a technique in which products are grown in the absence of sunlight. These products are either grown in a dark environment or covered by the soil.
How Good is White Asparagus?
Well, it depends on your taste or likeness, but people call it the “edible ivory,” and this is no ordinary title. For example, Germans are absolutely crazy about the white asparagus (it is known as spargle in Germany). In fact, there is a tradition of holding annual “sparglefests” in Germany, and that’s not it. People also arrange special tours to asparagus farms in Germany, isn’t it different?
Taste of White Asparagus
White asparagus is relatively bitterer in taste as compared to green asparagus. It has a milder and more delicate taste. However, some people also describe white asparagus as vegetal or sweet, and they compare it with turnips and peas. White asparagus normally pairs with lemons, butter, mayonnaise, mustard, and hollandaise sauce.
Uses of White Asparagus
You can use white asparagus in different ways. People use white asparagus as a side dish, or it can be added in salads, casseroles, soups, and many other dishes as well. White asparagus has thicker stalks in comparison to green asparagus, and therefore white asparagus will take more time for cooking as compared to green asparagus.
It is not easy to blanch, grill, or sauté white asparagus, and that is why white asparagus is cooked by steaming or boiling. White asparagus has tougher skin because of high fiber quantities, and you have to peel at least 2/3 of the stalk (measured from bottom). Apart from that, the bottom of the stalk also needs trimming.
In Europe, people use tall and narrow cooking pots for cooking the asparagus stalks. White asparagus has lesser flexibility as compared to the green asparagus; therefore, you should handle them carefully.
Benefits of Using White Asparagus
White asparagus is not only a treat for tasters; it is equally nutritious as well. It is no wonder that this rare vegetable is enriched with some very beneficial dietary nutrients. Fresh white asparagus is “loaded” with folates, a substance that is crucial for DNA synthesis in the human body’s cells.
White asparagus is enriched with vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin-B6, and pantothenic acids. These vitamins are necessary for maximum cellular metabolic and enzymatic functions. Moreover, white asparagus is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin A, C, and E. These vitamins provide a shield against different types of infections and reduce inflammatory problems.
White asparagus also contains Vitamin-K. Vitamin K plays an important role in is osteotrophic activity (bone formation). Moreover, Vitamin k is very effective in reducing neuronal damage in the brain. Not enough? Alright! White asparagus is also full of copper, iron, and other minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and manganese. This vegetable is surely one for your diet plan.
White Asparagus versus Green Asparagus
Although white asparagus and green asparagus are closely related, yet there are differences between these two products, and the major difference between them is their agricultural production method. Here are some of the differences between white asparagus and green asparagus.
- Green asparagus is grown with normal or regular agricultural methods. They are grown in the presence of sunlight.
- The taste of the green asparagus is described as grassy.
- Green asparagus takes less time for cooking, and it easy is to blanch, sauté, or grill green asparagus.
- Green asparagus has thinner stalks and is flexible. Therefore they are easy to handle
- Green asparagus has higher amounts of phenols and provide many health benefits.
- One serving of green asparagus has the following nutritional value: Natural sugar: 2.4 grams
Fiber: 2.7 grams
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Protein: 2.75 grams
- White asparagus is grown with the “blanching” method. They are either grown in a dark environment or covered with soil.
- White asparagus is a bit more delicate and bitter compared to green asparagus
- White asparagus takes more time to cook compared to green asparagus. It is mostly boiled or steamed.
- White asparagus has thicker stalks. They have tougher fibrous skin, less flexibility, and need careful touch.
- White asparagus have lower quantities of phenols as compared to green asparagus.
- One serving of asparagus has the following nutritional value:
Natural sugar: 1 gram
Fiber: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Protein: 2 grams