Gen­eral Pro­duce is a third gen­er­a­tion, locally owned and oper­ated fresh pro­duce com­pany located in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. We dis­trib­ute and export fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles — local, organic, sus­tain­able, regional and glob­ally sourced. Get to Know Us!

Once a har­bin­ger of spring, aspara­gus is now avail­able nearly year round with imported prod­uct from Peru and Mex­ico.

Even so, when fields in Cal­i­for­nia begin to sprout up ten­der tips, by early April, it’s indica­tive of a sea­sonal shift in local eat­ing habits.

An ele­gant veg­etable with long, ten­der shoots that are gen­er­ally cat­e­go­rized as white, pur­ple and green vari­eties, all belong­ing to a plant in the lily fam­ily.

The shoots of the green and white vari­eties are usu­ally hand-​harvested when the stalks reach a height of around eight inches and are one quar­ter to half inch thick. The com­pact, tightly packed leaves (resem­bling scales) at the top of the stalk are prized for their soft, to crunchy tex­ture and mild, provoca­tive fla­vor.

Green aspara­gus is tra­di­tion­ally the most com­mon vari­ety grown in the United States. Pur­ple or white aspara­gus is usu­ally avail­able on a lim­ited basis in spe­cialty and farm­ers markets.

White aspara­gus is typ­i­cal in North­ern Europe, with a less pro­nounced fla­vor than the green or pur­ple. The pur­ple vari­ety is gen­er­ally har­vested once the stalks reach a height of around only three inches. Once cooked, this aspara­gus pro­vides a some­what dis­tinc­tive fruity fla­vor.

Select­ing Grass: Look for tight, dry tips, which should be fresh green or pur­plish – never yel­lowed, mushy or going to seed. The tops should not be wet. Smell the aspara­gus – it should have no odor.

Gen­er­ally, there is very lit­tle dif­fer­ence in taste and tex­ture between long, short, thick, or thin aspara­gus. The green on the stalk is fully edi­ble on green grass. The impor­tant deter­min­ing fac­tor is fresh­ness. Pick­ing a uni­form size will help to cook it evenly.

Fresh is best. Use aspara­gus on the day of pur­chase. Refrig­er­ate as soon it as soon as you get it home. If nec­es­sary, it will keep well for as long as three or four days under refrig­er­a­tion.

Siz­ing lan­guage for aspara­gus is con­fus­ing to say the very least. Not every grass grow­ing coun­try or region is in synch with the other. The USDA has a guide­line for diam­e­ter siz­ing. That’s a good start. When we get into Cal­i­for­nia and Wash­ing­ton grown prod­uct, the call­outs do not fol­low the same ver­biage. For exam­ple “stan­dard” size for Cal­i­for­nia is small for USDA.

Spring is home­grown aspara­gus season!


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Greener Fields Together