Here at British Asparagus HQ, we're always amazed at how many myths there are surrounding selecting, preparing and eating one of Britain's best loved and finest vegetables.
We thought we'd tackle some of these perceived myths head on and get to the truth of the matter!
We've sifted through and identified the top 5, so without further ado:
Myth 1 - Asparagus is available all year round
Truth - The true British asparagus season is very short, lasting for about eight weeks from late-April to mid-June. Imported asparagus is available from different parts of the world all year round, but British asparagus is well worth the wait for its unbeatable flavour and freshness.
Myth 2 – Asparagus is complicated to prepare
Truth – This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the simplest methods to prepare asparagus is to steam for around 3-4 minutes until just tender and toss with a knob of butter, a little grated lemon zest (if you like citrus flavours) and a light sprinkle of sea salt. Then just pick up with your fingers and enjoy!
Myth 3 – You should snap the asparagus spear in the middle before cooking
Truth – The myth goes that by snapping the spear at the base you will remove the very toughest part of the stalk. In fact, that’s not necessarily true as the asparagus won’t always snap in the ‘right place’ and you may end up wasting too much. If you are preparing a very smooth soup or sauce, by all means snap away but otherwise, there’s no point and you’ll end up unnecessarily binning too much.
Myth 4 – You need to tie asparagus bundles with string to boil or steam it
Truth – There is no need to tie asparagus spears with string or bind them together with elastic bands. While it may help you retrieve the cooked asparagus quicker from the saucepan, it is certainly not a 'must do'.
Myth 5 – Everyone who eats asparagus has strange smelling urine
Truth – Not everyone who eats asparagus gets a distinctive odour to their urine. Your genetic makeup may actually determine whether your urine has the odour as only some people have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down the sulphurous compound that creates the smell. Interestingly, not everyone is able to detect the smell when it is present.
So there you have it, the truth from the horse's mouth!
If you've heard any urban myths about British Asparagus we'd love to hear them, perhaps we could get to the bottom of it for you and debunk those falsehoods?
In the meantime, keep enjoying the wonderful British Asparagus season!