All about Aussie asparagus
Spring and summer specialty: Australian asparagus is available now! It's in season from September to March, with a smaller supply during summer.
Provenance: More than 95% of Australia's asparagus is grown in Victoria, predominantly in Koo Wee Rup and Mildura.
Shooting spears: It takes three years for farmers to see fresh spears sprouting. The plant will then produce high-quality asparagus each season afterward, with spears growing to an impressive 25cm in 24 hours in ideal weather conditions.
Hand picked goodness: Asparagus spears are harvested by hand. They're cut with a knife at the surface of the soil in the cool, early morning conditions to retain maximum freshness.
Green machine: Green asparagus is the most popular variety in Australia. It comes in various sizes (thick, medium and mini) with a tender, juicy texture and herbaceous taste.
Sleeping spears: Asparagus ferns die down between April and May. They're then cut back and mulched into the soil. The crown lies dormant until the following spring. So, make the most of them while they're in season!
Perfect pick: Look for firm, bright and smooth spears of uniform size with closed, compact tips. When you snap freshly harvested asparagus, it should be crisp, moist and juicy.
Flower power: Freshly harvested spears are similar to cut flowers. Keep them fresh by wrapping in a damp towel and storing in the crisper, or stand them upright in a container with water and keep in the fridge.
Frozen fresh: Stock up on Aussie asparagus while they're in season and freeze them for up to eight months! Wash your spears and cut off any woody ends, cook them in boiling water for one minute, drain, cool and dry then freeze your cooked spears in freezer bags.
Perfect prep: Before cooking or serving your spears, snap off the woody ends using your forefinger and thumb. For thicker spears, run a knife along the stalk until it meets resistance, then cut the end off at this point.
Versatile veg: Fresh Aussie spears are the perfect addition to spring and summer dishes, adding a healthy touch of flavour and refreshing crunch. Try asparagus blanched, microwaved, steamed, roasted, stir-fried, char-grilled and barbecued. Or, enjoy raw!
A healthy habit: A serve of asparagus, about three to four spears, boasts a quarter of your daily vitamin C needs, and provides B vitamins, potassium, and fibre.
Australian Asparagus Council