If you’re anything like me, you must have asked yourself this question, “what does asparagus taste like?” Does it taste bland just like any vegetable or does it provide a distinct taste like no other? I want to know since I’m planning to incorporate more vegetables into my diet.
Many people are not familiar with the taste of asparagus probably because it can be more expensive as compared to other vegetables, like carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. However, you can’t just reject this nutritious vegetable right away. Before you try one serving of asparagus, here’s what you need to know.
What Is Asparagus?
Asparagus is young shoots that you see in grocery stores with spears or stalks. At the tip of the spears, you’ll notice a petal-shaped head, called the bud. The young and slender asparagus is called the sprue.
You can find several color varieties of asparagus: green, purple, and white. The green asparagus is common in the US and Great Britain. Regardless of the color, this vegetable contains high levels of nutrients, like vitamin K, folate, and copper.
So, What Does Asparagus Taste Like?
It’s actually hard to provide a precise description of the taste of asparagus. Some compare it to the mild, earthy flavor of broccoli while others refer the taste as intensely savory. Sometimes, this vegetable can taste sour because of its old age or the way you cook it.
Just like mushrooms, asparagus has the ability to soak up all the other flavors when cooked with different ingredients. It complements well with strong tasting ingredients like garlic. You can eat it usually as a side dish, but you can also prepare it as a very healthy snack.
I get a chance to bake some asparagus with some lemon juice, seasonings, and olive oil. The taste is kind of weird, I guess, just like green beans. The top seems to be crunchier than the bottom part.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
Not only does asparagus have a unique taste, but this vegetable has a nutritional uniqueness that is unlike no other. Asparagus is a rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate. It has chromium, a trace mineral that helps transport glucose into the cells.
Along with kale and Brussel sprouts, asparagus is specifically rich in glutathione, an antioxidant that prevents the development of carcinogens and free radicals. It’s also packed with other antioxidants, which is why eating a regular serving of asparagus can help protect against certain types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.
The folate and vitamin B12 found in asparagus can help prevent cognitive disorder. According to a 2016 study, the combination of folate and vitamin B12 can help boost the brain’s performance. If you’re above 50 years old, make sure that you get a regular serving of asparagus because your ability to absorb vitamin B12 may decrease with this age.
Selecting The Young Asparagus
Since the taste of asparagus can get sour when too old, select the young ones as possible. Whether you select green, white, or purple asparagus, you should look for firm, crisp stalks with tightly closed budding tips. You can tell that the asparagus is old if the tip’s petals are already open, dry, or falling off.
The stalks should be rounded, not fat nor twisted. The thinner the stems, the more tender and sweeter the asparagus. Larger, fatter asparagus stalks are usually meat in texture and offer a stronger flavor.
The ends of the stalks should be plump and moist, not dry or woody. Keep away from blemished, speckled, or wilting asparagus. Also, avoid those with limp stalks.
If you like to buy some fresh asparagus, you can try your local farmer’s market. It’s best that you choose the organically grown ones so you can be free from contaminants. Imports are available all throughout the year, but if you want the best, which is the British variety, buy from May to July.
Storing And Preparing Asparagus
As compared to other dry vegetables, asparagus need be stored in the fridge. Leaving asparagus out on the counter may cause it to go bad quickly.
For best results, store your asparagus in the refrigerator with the ends encased with damp paper towels. You can also keep the asparagus in a perforated plastic or paper bag and stored in the refrigerator’s salad drawer.
To prepare, simply peel the thick stems and remove the tough outer skin with a vegetable peeler. Thin asparagus doesn’t need peeling. Wash asparagus under running cold water and cook whole as possible.
If you like to learn more tips in preparing asparagus, watch this video.
What does asparagus taste like? Well, imagine green beans or broccoli, but with an intensely savory flavor. It can also taste sour if the vegetable is already old, so it’s best to choose the fresh ones. As much as possible, buy in local farmer’s market and make sure it’s organic.
If you have tried eating some asparagus, describe the taste to us in the comments section. Please share if you like it.