In this podcast, you’ll learn all about Paul’s hunt for wild asparagus, some tips on how to cook asparagus, and what to look for when buying it in the store.

Topics we cover:

  How much wild asparagus Paul as been picking

Preparing Asparagus2
Wild Asparagus. Much thinner than the cultivated kind.

  Why Paul goes picking on Thursdays

  Two ways to cook the asparagus

If you steam them or use a “wet cooking method,” they will taste more “green” and grassy

While if you roast them or use a “dry cooking method,” they will take on a more “meaty” flavor

  How you can cook them/steam them very easily in the microwave using the below method:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/steamed-asparagus-recipe

Preparing Asparagus Alton

  When Paul worked on microwaves for GE, the best uses for microwaves

  Paul recipe a pasta cooking the wild asparagus with some mussels, garlic, onions, parsley, and tomatoes

  How you pick the wild asparagus, pinching them off a picking them from the fields

  How asparagus goes well with shrimp

  A bit about our KTM chili flakes which contains the Carolina Reaper

  The tomatoes we use for cooking in the winter, a slightly dried hanging tomato

Preparing Asparagus
Here are the tomatoes we talk about in the podcast.

  The most amazing bowl of Pasta had in Naples features just tomatoes and basil

  The waiter claimed it was so good because the tomatoes were grown in the volcanic soil

  The way some of the older women make fresh tomato sauce

  Some tips on buying asparagus

Look for bright green or violet-tinged spears with firm —not limp — stems.

The tips should be closed and compact.

Avoid limp asparagus.  Take out a stem from the bunch and see if it is limp.

Preparting Asparagus FB

  How to store your asparagus when you bring it home — namely placing them in just a bit of water as if they are fresh cut flowers

  But why you should eat it very quickly

  How Paul likes the asparagus with our new Red Wine Vinegar

  The smell associated with asparagus — how some people have it, some can’t detect it, and how they don’t know why it happens

  How food transcends all

  How the last podcast hit a nerve with some people (LINK)

Bonus asparagus info:

Preparing Asparagus3
Another wild asparagus picture. Notice the “thorny bush” it comes from.

• Asparagus is made up of 93% water.

• It is low in calories and is very low in sodium.

• It’s a good source of vitamins and fiber.

• The white version of asparagus enjoyed in the Netherlands, Spain, France, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Italy, and Switzerland.  The asparagus is covered in soil as they grow to “blanch” them.  Since no photosynthesis starts, the shoots remain white.   It is believed to be less bitter and much more tender.  But honestly, I’m not so sure on that.  I personally like a bright, green asparagus.

• Hollandaise sauce is a popular sauce to serve with asparagus. Hollandaise is an emulsion of egg yolk and liquid butter with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

• Asparagus originated in maritime habitats, so it likes soils that are too saline for normal weeds to grow. Thus, a little salt was traditionally used to suppress weeds in beds intended for asparagus. The downside to this is of course that bed couldn’t be used to grow anything else.

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You might think growing up in a small town in Texas wouldn't prepare you to live the Italian lifestyle. But in many ways — the family values, the small town culture, the love of food — is very similar to what you'll find in Italian culture. In fact, I expect it's pretty universal. Having been married to an Italian for 20 years, it's been fun to learn and explore the rich Italian culture and share it with you.

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