I always wish that I could try all different types of asparagus because I love it so much. Different varieties vary in tastes, appearances, and uses. But I am sure that they are delicious. I have many types up to the moment, and I am delighted to share them with you.
In this article, I wrote about various types of asparagus. I will present their most distinguishing features and how they are used in cooking. I am sure that after reading it, you will rush to the grocery stores and bring some asparagus home.
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Asparagus is not a very common vegetable. Yet the outstanding flavor of asparagus makes people like them a lot.
They are often roasted, grilled, and baked. But perhaps what people don’t know about asparagus is that they are loaded with plenty of beneficial substances.
First, asparagus is rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin E, C, polyphenols, and flavonoids. These substances can help prevent aging, cancers, and many other diseases. They can also lower your blood pressure.
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In addition, they contain a high amount of fiber, which can lower the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. Importantly, they are very low in calories.
Do you know that asparagus has male and female cultivars? It is not a self-pollinated vegetable. This is one of the fascinating features of this vegetable. To help you understand these 2 types of plants. I will explain a little bit about them below.
Female asparagus produce seeds that have a red color. The male plants will pollinate these seeds. The female plants are smaller than the male ones. The flowers have three-lobed stamens and six pistils.
On the other hand, male asparagus is larger. The spears are thicker and longer, and the flowers are also longer.
Asparagus is classified according to the color: white, green, or purple. Each type has distinctive tastes and textures. Let’s find out what their subvarieties are.
Most asparagus you see in the grocery store or supermarket is green asparagus. It has a glassy and tender taste and crispy texture.
Since green asparagus is the standard type of asparagus, you can use it in any recipe that calls for asparagus, such as roasted, grilled, and baked asparagus. You can also add it to soups and salads.
Green asparagus is cheap but very nutritious. It is packed with calcium, potassium, vitamin B, C, fiber, and beta-carotene.
This type of asparagus has several varieties. Check them out!
|Types of green asparagus||Appearance||Characteristics|
|Apollo||Dark green color with purple tips||Adapted to cool and warm weather, good for eating fresh, freezing, and roasting|
|Mary Washington||Medium-sized, dark green, purple tips, uniform, and beautiful leaves||Delicate taste|
|Atlas||Dark green, purple bud scales||Sturdy, adapted to cool and warm weather, resistant to frost, fusarium, and diseases|
|Précoce D'Argenteuil||Pale green stalks and rosy pink tips||Sweet and tender, great for salads, roasted and sauteed dishes|
|Viking KB3||10 inches long, as thin as pencils||Productive, sturdy, good for making salads and roasting|
|Jersey Giant||Large, 7-9 inches||Sweet, meaty, and tender, good for eating raw and making salads|
|Jersey Knight||Green spears and purple bracts||Highly productive, heat-tolerant and disease-resistant|
|Jersey Supreme||Uniform||Productive, disease-resistant, mature early, and cold-hardy|
|Millennium||Dark green tips||Bitter when raw, productive, cold-hardy, and adapted to most soil types.|
|Grande Hybrid||Large spears, dark green, purple bud scales, cylindrical||Productive|
1. Apollo Asparagus
Apollo asparagus has a dark green color with purple tips. It has medium or large stalks that are very smooth and uniform.
Given the outstanding features of Apollo asparagus, you can use it in a lot of ways. It is best to enjoy it fresh. You can also freeze it to use it up later. People also roast it and serve it as a side dish for fish.
This asparagus can be grown in both cool and warm weather. It takes less time to mature than other varieties.
2. Mary Washington Asparagus
Mary Washington is a medium-sized variety with a length of 8 inches. It is very popular in America. The stalks have a deep green color, and the tips are light purple. The shoots are long, tapered, and thick.
Notably, this type of asparagus is very uniform, which looks amazingly appealing. Its taste is also very delicate.
If you want to plant this common type of asparagus, choose the growing zones between 3 and 8. A moderate or high amount of sunlight is required. You can grow Mary Washington asparagus as a decorative plant since the leaves have a beautiful lush green color.
Here are some good reasons to grow Mary Washington asparagus.
3. Atlas Asparagus
Atlas asparagus has a rich and nutty taste. The stalks are about 8 inches long and have a dark green color. It also has some purple shades on the bud scales. Its spears are larger than other types of asparagus.
The best place to grow Atlas asparagus is where the temperature is between 45 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. So it can be planted in both cool and hot weather. It should be placed under the sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.
You should collect it before it is longer than 8 inches so that its flavor and texture can retain after cooking.
The Atlas asparagus plant is very sturdy. It can withstand frost, fusarium, and diseases.
4. Precoce D’Argenteuil Asparagus
This green asparagus has a delicious sweet taste. It will become tender after cooking. It is very popular in European countries, especially France. It is used to make salads. People also roast and saute it and serve it in gourmet restaurants.
In terms of appearance, it can be up to 3 feet long. It is mainly pale green, yet the tips have a gorgeous rosy pink hue.
5. Viking KB3 Asparagus
Viking KB3 is a variety of Mary Washington asparagus. It is a productive, sturdy, and easy-to-grow type of asparagus. It lives well in every weather condition. It also takes a short time to mature.
It is best to make salads with this variety. You can also roast it with garlic and olive oil to make delicious vegetable dishes to accompany heavy main dishes.
When mature, it is about 10 inches long, and the stalks are as thin as pencils. The shoots are succulent. If you harvest it later than that, the shoots will get chewy.
6. Jersey Giant Asparagus
With an incredibly sweet, meaty taste and tender texture, Jersey Giant asparagus is a super versatile variety. You can eat it raw or add it to salads and other savory recipes. It is a large variety with a maximum length of 7-9 inches.
You should note that if you let it stay on the ground after it reaches the maximum length, it will get sinewy and is not delicious anymore.
This variety is the growers’ favorite because it can be grown in most weather conditions. In addition, it can fight against diseases and fungi, especially fusarium.
7. Jersey Knight Asparagus
Jersey Knight asparagus may be the most delicious type of Jersey asparagus. It is also highly productive. It can produce almost 4 times more crops than other types. Amazing, isn’t it?
This variety is heat-tolerant and disease-resistant. The spears are green while the bracts are purple.
8. Jersey Supreme Asparagus
Jersey Supreme is a hybrid variety that is normally harvested earlier than other varieties. It is very productive, disease-resistant, and cold-hardy. Its spears are incredibly tasty. It is best to grow it in sandy soil and in growing zones 3-8. The stalks come out uniform and delicious.
Amazingly, this type of asparagus can withstand fusarium wilt and rust. The longer you leave it on the ground, the more stalks it produces
9. Millennium Asparagus
This variety tastes a little bit bitter when uncooked. But after cooking, its amazingly delicious taste will stun you. What is special about Millenium asparagus is that it is very productive, cold-hardy, and adapted to most soil types.
10. Grande Hybrid Asparagus
Grande Hybrid asparagus has large spears. The spears are dark green in color, and the bud scales have a purple hue. They are smooth and cylindrical in shape. As the name says, it is a hybrid variety and is very productive.
White asparagus is very popular in Europe. It is more expensive than other varieties because of its deliciously sweet taste and the production cost. Also, it is not available all year round.
You will find it in whole or canned form. You should peel white asparagus before eating it since the exterior is quite tough.
Actually, white asparagus is similar to green asparagus, except for the color because white asparagus is grown in dark areas.
Have you learned the best way to cook white asparagus?
As the name suggests, this variety has a lovely purple color. This color is created thanks to the high amount of anthocyanin, a type of antioxidant. Purple asparagus is very sweet because it has high sugar content. It is also a little bit nutty.
Regarding the texture, purple asparagus is super tender. It is more tender than other varieties. The more it matures, the more tender it will be.
Another thing about this asparagus is that its purple color and tender texture won’t remain after cooking. You should grill it, eat it raw, add it to salads to prepare a side treat for picnic, or blanch quickly to keep the color and texture.
There are 3 subvarieties of purple asparagus. See this table for a brief introduction!
|Types of purple asparagus||Appearance||Characteristics|
|Purple passion||Purple when raw, light green when cooked, leaf-like bracts||Nutty and tender, good for freezing and making salads and roasted dishes|
|Stewart purple||Purple, lighter when cooked||Good for making salads, steaming, eating fresh|
|Pacific purple||Beautiful leaves||Sweet and tender, productive, good for steaming and eating raw|
11. Purple Passion Asparagus
This variety is purple when raw. However, when cooked, it turns light green. Yet the spears are still purple. You can spot out Purple Passion asparagus by looking at its bracts. They look like leaves.
Purple Passion asparagus has a distinctive nutty and tender taste that is perfect for making salads and roasted dishes. You should note that after you cook it, its purple color will turn white.
It is one the most tender and delicious types of asparagus. You can also keep it fresh for a long time by freezing it. Is there anything better than that?
If you have frozen your asparagus for a long time, make sure you know the symptoms of rotten asparagus. This will help prevent you from having foodborne symptoms.
Let’s take a virtual tour to a beautiful Purple Passion Asparagus garden.
12. Stewarts Purple Asparagus
Stewarts Purple asparagus has a stunning color. Yet when cooked, the lovely purple hue will fade away. This variety is a great choice if you love sweet asparagus since it is much sweeter than green asparagus.
You can add fresh Stewarts Purple asparagus to salads, steam it, or enjoy it with dressing. Its color will stay if you steam it.
13. Pacific Purple Asparagus
This New Zealand variety is fascinatingly sweet and tender even when it is cooked. People love to serve it raw with dipping sauce or steam it because its purple color will fade away if other cooking methods are used.
What is great about this variety is that it is very productive. It produces more crops than Purple Passion and green asparagus.
The leaves of Pacific Purple asparagus are very beautiful. It will make your house look more refreshing during summer.
Can you guess why it is called “Wild Asparagus”? The answer is obvious. It grows in the wild. You may confuse it with green asparagus because it also has a green color. Yet it is usually thinner than common asparagus and longer as well.
This variety is popular in England and western European countries. You will see plenty of it growing near the sea, such as the cliffs and the coastal dunes.
Compared to common asparagus, wild asparagus has a more natural flavor because it does not have a lot of sugar and antioxidants.
Many people think wild asparagus is tougher and more glassy than other varieties. But that’s not true at all. It is rather soft. You don’t need gloves when picking it up.
You need this guide to learn how to find wild asparagus.
Sometimes you cannot cook all of the asparagus the day you bought it, so you must know the most effective method to store asparagus in order to keep it for later uses. Check out this brief guide!
First, cut the bottom part of the asparagus, then place it in a glass of water. Fill the water until it reaches 1 inch tall in the glass. Get a plastic bag, wrap up the asparagus, and put it in the fridge. By doing this, you can store your delicious asparagus for 4 days.
What about the way to freeze asparagus? The answer is “yes.” But you have to take several steps, including blanching, flash-freezing, and freezing.
It’s time to cook with asparagus. If you haven’t come up with any dish, check out my suggestions. They are my favorite recipes. I am sure they will also become yours after you try them.
Speaking of asparagus, most people crave roasted asparagus. It is sweet, salty, tangy, and rich. I believe that it will be a perfect side dish for any occasion. If you want it to be even more flavorful, add some herbs such as thyme, basil and some pepper.
Roasted asparagus is the most loved asparagus recipe.
Baked asparagus is also a super delicious side dish. But when baked, the vegetable is flavorful. But it is a little bit charred, giving you an out-of-this-world flavor. Make sure you serve it when it is still warm. Put it besides meat and chicken dishes.
Given how nutritious asparagus is, making soup with it is always a good idea. I love how sweet, creamy, and comforting it is. Add a little bit of tanginess with lemon juice and some richness with parmesan cheese or heavy cream.
Who doesn’t love salads? If you have never tried asparagus salad, I highly recommend that you make it today. I love this recipe because I can add any vegetable that I like. The more vegetables there are, the more colorful and flavorful the salad will be.
I have shown you the most important information about 16 different types of asparagus as well as some classic dishes that you can make with them. From now, it’s your turn. Select the most impressive variety and go get it right away!
Although I try to cover as much information as possible, there are more interesting things about these varieties that I haven’t had a chance to explore. If you want to share more about them, feel free to comment below. Other readers and I will benefit from you a lot.