Beware of the asparagus trap!

Even though there is definitely no shortage of things to do in the capital, I am sometimes drawn to the outskirts of Berlin, especially at weekends. Especially now that the asparagus season has started, numerous farms are tempting people with this vegetable, which I love to eat. But while you can usually rely on the quality directly from the producer, it is worth taking a closer look at one or the other product in the supermarket to avoid falling into the asparagus trap.

Crooked, unsorted Asparagus is usually cheaper, but usually has no inferior quality. The classification into quality classes is not prescribed, but is still done in many cases.

Asparagus must be marked with the country of origin and the price per kilogram on a notice board or next to the goods. More than 80 percent of the asparagus consumed in this country also comes from Germany.

I therefore recommend that you give preference to regional products in order not to support long transport routes. Signs of freshness in asparagus are light and juicy interfaces and a slight sheen. In addition, there should be no cracks. If the rods break easily instead of bending, this also indicates good quality.

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You can also rub the asparagus spears together and when fresh they will squeak. In addition, the asparagus heads should be tightly closed and not soft or mushy when pressed. I recommend that you always eat asparagus fresh, but of course you can also wrap the spears unpeeled in a damp cloth and store them in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for two to three days.

Good advice. The head of the Verbraucherzentrale Berlin gives advice and tips in her office at the Verbraucherzentrale in…Photo: Henning Kunz

When freezing, the asparagus should be trimmed of the ends, washed and peeled, but in any case raw. Asparagus is a good source of liquid because it consists of about 93 percent water. It is rich in potassium, folic acid, vitamin C, B vitamins and phytochemicals. White asparagus grows underground and turns purple when exposed to sunlight. For this reason it is harvested just before the stalks break through the earth.

With green asparagus, you only have to peel the lower third

Green asparagus grows above ground. The chlorophyll it contains is responsible for its colour. Compared to white asparagus, it contains even more vitamin C and provitamin A. Peel white asparagus spears below the heads, cutting off the ends. With green asparagus, you only have to peel the lower third.

It is best to cook asparagus with a little water and with the lid closed. White asparagus is cooked after about 15 to 25 minutes, green ones after 10 to 15 minutes. Incidentally, in contrast to many other foods, the prices for asparagus have risen only moderately. One more reason to buy a bundle. You don’t even have to drive to the Berlin area.

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