Tips for gourmets – UK to get first homegrown peeled white asparagus

7 May 2013

White asparagus – a highly prized gourmet food that is currently only imported from the continent is being grown in commercial quantities for the first time by an English producer. Even better news for food lovers is that the white asparagus, which needs to be peeled, will be sold ready to eat, taking away the hard work in preparing it.

White asparagus – a highly prized gourmet food that is currently only imported from the continent is being grown in commercial quantities for the first time by an English producer.

Even better news for food lovers is that the white asparagus, which needs to be peeled, will be sold ready to eat, taking away the hard work in preparing it.

Until now white asparagus has been the preserve of foodies, featuring in the recipes of celebrity chefs and on the menus of top Michelin starred restaurants such as Gordon Ramsey’s Foxtrot Oscar.

But on Monday (May 6) the white asparagus, grown in the Wye Valley, Herefordshire will go on sale at Tesco stores across the UK.

That should be great news to the growing number of British asparagus lovers who have helped the homegrown crop rocket in popularity in the last decade by an astonishing 800 per cent (data from British Asparagus marketing group). 

Tesco asparagus buyer Jonathan Readshaw said: “White asparagus is an absolute food connoisseur’s dream and has a far more delicate taste than the green variety.

“Experts say that English asparagus is the best in the world because of the country’s perfect mild climate which makes for a slightly sweeter product and this new addition.

“If this newly grown variety is as popular as the rest of the asparagus we produce then we could even see England selling it to the Germans and Dutch.”

White asparagus is produced from the same plant as the green variety but has its roots buried deeper under the soil.

As the spears grow in the soil the absence of light does not allow photosynthesis to take place and the spears remain white.

As it is grown below the soil the skin is more fibrous than on green asparagus which is harvested above ground. Therefore it needs peeling before cooking.

Tesco’s white peeled asparagus will be sold in 200g packets priced at £3 each. Each packet contains an average of six spears.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Asparagus is:

  • Low in fat with typically less than 1g fat per 100g
  • Low in calories with typically less than 25 calories (kcal) per 100g
  • A source of fibre to help maintain a healthy digestive system
  • A source of folic acid which supports the development of your baby before and during pregnancy
  • A source of vitamin C for a healthy immune system

The British Asparagus season usually lasts from St George’s Day on April 21 until Midsummer’s Day on June 21. It has been delayed this year by three weeks because of poor weather.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

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