white asparagus: just say no

Have you ever prepared white asparagus?  No?  Well, here’s a tip: DON’T.

White asparagus is the most high maintenance vegetable I have EVER cooked.


We never had white asparagus before, so we picked some up at Whole Foods over the weekend, thinking it would be a fun, new vegetable experience.

Big mistake.

Today I open the package and start to lay them out on a baking pan to put into the oven (we like the green asparagus “baked”) and stop when I see the directions on their plastic packaging: “White asparagus is NOT like green asparagus. It has a very bitter fibrous shell. YOU MUST PEEL white asparagus.”

I’m sorry.  I must do WHAT?

Asparagus isn’t like…I don’t know…a carrot or a potato…asparagus is SMALL and there are like fifty per bundle and I’m not exactly what you would call skilled in the peeling department.

But wait, “white asparagus is brittle and may break while peeling.”

I looked over to Tim and was like, “We are never buying this again. I have to PEEL every single piece.  One. By. One.”

And so reluctantly, I started the singular peeling process. 

And I broke every single stalk.

Then it was time to revisit the special instructions for the vegetable from hell.

“Bring water, butter, salt and lemon juice to a boil and then gather spears in two to four bundles and tie GENTLY with kitchen string.  Cook time may be eight to thirty minutes.”

Seriously?  Thirty minutes?  And string?

I took that as: break them in half, throw them into a pot of water and turn on the stove.  They would be done when the low-maintenance-throw-on-the-grill-and-turn-a-few-times kabobs were done. Period.

We ate the white hellions.  They were stringy.

And tasted JUST liked green asparagus.

Only with less of that green flavor they must be trying to eliminate.

4 Responses to “white asparagus: just say no”

  1. 1 lifestartsnow June 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    i LOVE this post. in germany we mostly have white asparagus. i prefer the green one as well because it’s less work. but also the taste is different.

    you’ll get used to the peeling. if it’s still stringy, you didn’t peel off enough – with some practice you’ll be able to feel if you peeled enough. sounds like you’ll skip practice though 😉


  2. 3 gorska_fantaziq September 2, 2009 at 9:52 am

    😀 Oh,that was funny!:D I`m rolling on the floor laughing!I like your writing.I like the way you picture those things happening to you.When you write your book,i`ll definately buy it! And i envy you(in a good way) for those two wonderful dogs.I`m getting the same breeds as soon as i get a house!

    • 4 Jessica September 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm

      gorska_fantaziq: You’re getting a golden and a lab? That’s awesome! They are both VERY similiar in temperament and training “needs” …which is nice.

      And, thanks for visiting…glad you could see the humor in that blasted asparagus…

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