From March to June
Asparagus is a perennial herbaceous plant which perhaps originated in Mesopotamia. Interest in this plant as a vegetable dates back to antiquity, but it seems that only at the end of the Middle Ages did large-scale its cultivation commence. With the discovery of the New World, the asparagus also crossed the ocean and found new land suitable for its cultivation. Worldwide, the largest producers are China, Peru, Mexico, the United States and South Africa; in Europe, it is Spain, France, Germany and Italy, which has the highest unit yields.
Asparagus belongs to the family Liliaceae, genus Asparagus, to which over 240 species are ascribed.
The root system consists of two types of roots:
- Principal: arranged in a radial pattern on the "crown", fleshy, cylindrical, with branching and indefinite growth; they can reach considerable depths and act as a reserve body; if a main root is cut, it does not branch any more and, due to difficulty in healing, tends to rot.
- Secondary: fibrous and thinner, they are present along the main roots and, especially at the end part, have an absorption function.
Asparagus is a tender and succulent spring vegetable that is extremely rich in beneficial properties. It represents a perennial variety, its cultivation in Europe beginning over a thousand years ago. Italy, together with France and Germany, is one of the largest producers in Europe. Choosing to consume asparagus means giving preference to local and seasonal foods, as well as ones rich in beneficial properties to protect our body from disease.