Thursday 5 May 2016

My First Asparagus of 2016! (And a Question ... Do You Cut or Snap)

If you love asparagus as much as I do, you might be able to relate to the fact that I'm posting about harvesting two, yes just two, spears of asparagus from my garden.  But it's very exciting for me!

I have about a dozen other spears on the way but these first two had a head start and I feared they would begin to fern out - LOL, no idea how to refer to this stage ("flowering"?).  Anyway, I didn't want them to mature into the next stage where they become fern fronds.  Mind you, even though this is now my fourth season and I should be able to harvest steadily throughout the season, I still think I'll avoid taking too many in the first 6-8 weeks to allow the ferns to grow and replenish the nutrients for next year's production.

When I harvested them, I grabbed a knife and cut the spears just above the soil.  As I was cutting the second one, I suddenly had this realization that I have always snapped the asparagus when harvesting and why was I using a knife?

There is a similar question when preparing asparagus to eat ... I generally snap the asparagus which (according to literature and my general experience) naturally breaks at the point where the woody point ends and the more tender portion starts.  Many cooks choose to cut the asparagus rather than snapping (on rare occasions when I am desperate to save as much asparagus as possible, I'll use a peeler to remove the tough parts).

So ... do you cut or snap?

And by the way, I ate the spears fresh.  They tasted like spring. 


  1. Interesting question. I don't have any asparagus to harvest, but for cooking I snap the stems. Yes, they would taste like spring. When I see the first local asparagus at the farmer's market I know that spring has truly arrived. I can't eat asparagus out of season, it has to be local and fresh, but that's my feeling about any veggies.

    1. I thoroughly agree about not eating any veggies out of season. My main goals in veggie gardening is to produce enough so that I can store/freeze for winter usage and not have to buy something from other countries.

  2. Hooray for the first asparagus! FWIW, I cut them in the garden, then snap them before cooking. My theory (and it's just a theory) is that I leave the tough part on so if the ends dry out, it's the tough part drying and not the edible part.