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Most of us are already quite familiar with the purplish-green of summertime asparagus but white asparagus is still somewhat of a mystery.
These rare white stalks have been regarded as delicacies for more than 2,000 years. As early as 200 B.C., the Romans had how-to-grow instructions for white asparagus. Today, black plastic sheets protect the white asparagus from sunlight and from developing chlorophyll that results in the familiar green color.
It is one of the most expensive vegetables on the market as it is harvested by hand and is available only from early April until late June. Steamed or blanched in water well-seasoned with salt, lemon juice, butter and a bit of sugar, white asparagus reveals a burst of earthy, sweet and slightly bitter flavors. Its texture is soft and creamy, with a slight stringiness and a silky weight.
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