|Wild asparagus / Divlje šparoge|
Sezona je šparoga!
It is a perfect time for picking wild asparagus!
Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, it is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The "leaves" are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (0.24–1.3 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, and clustered 4–15 together.
Water makes up 93% of Asparagus`s composition. Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.
Many people find wild asparagus tastier than store-bought asparagus. This wild plant is not difficult to identify, as it looks very similar to the asparagus you'd find at your local grocery store. Locating it, however, many not be that simple--especially if you do not live in a rural area. Wild asparagus, commonly found amidst prairie vegetation, is usually the product of cultivation by means of birds. Birds pick at the red berries, which are found on wild asparagus in the fall and spread the seeds. Because this wild plant is a perennial, you can return to the same place each season to pick wild asparagus until you fulfill your heart's desire.
Here are some various asparagus / šparoge in Croatian / I picked up around my home:
And, another kind of asparagus that we locally call "kukljari",
they climb and have very distintive heart-like leaves.
Its taste differ a little from common wild asparagus, they are a little bit bitter.
Escaped asparagus takes on a wild habitus - it is more slender and tender and a bit more subtle in flavour than the garden variety. It usually does not need to be boiled for long; just cut off the woody ends. The tender green shoots are very tasty and can be added to just about any dish.
Next time, I will show you some very simple dishes with wild asparagus that we prepare almost daily during this picking up season.
If you would like to read some more :