Asparagus Alert

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Asparagus Alert – Lou Davey

We are plum in the midst of asparagus season. There it is, pride of place in every supermarket veg section and going for (almost) a song. I can take it or leave it myself but most folk are going asparagus-bonkers. My husband is bonkers. Every day he comes home with a bunch or two and no matter what I have planned for the evening’s repast this vegetable must needs intrude.

There is a time and a place for asparagus. Unfortunately those times and places do not take seasonality into account.

Nor do they acknowledge the side-effects.

You can braise, steam or poach asparagus in whatever combination of butter, lemon or whatever the recipe recommends, on a daily basis but what you cannot escape is the fact your toilet will need some extra assistance to remain “pine forest fresh”.

Although asparagus is loaded with vitamins A,B,C,fibre,folic acid et al., it also contains a little something called mercaptan. This is a sulphur compound and makes your wee-wees stink.

This side effect isn’t overly noticeable in a houshold of two, but my daughter (with a husband and four boys) reports that asparagus will never enter her kitchen again this side of Armaggedon. Another reason she will have no bar of the vegetable is that it is reported to increase libido (along with the ubiquitous oyster) and four offspring are quite enough thank you.

She need not concern herself on that matter as I can personally testify that after over a fortnight of almost daily asparagus ingestion my husband has remained tired and preferring to wash his hair.

Yet, let us not underestimate the power of asparagus, for it has spawned website chats worldwide. Also websites who are patently In Lurve: “Asparagus, a member of the Lily family, is the most regal of vegetables. Tall and slender with its crowned head held aloft, the asparagus almost demands that we dress for dinner. We acknowledge asparagus’ superiority to other vegetables and treat it like visiting royalty in the season of its freshness.” ( It’s a piece of green stalk, with a moderately okay flavour, makes your wee stink, doesn’t make babies and …I’d rather eat cabbage!

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2 thoughts on “Asparagus Alert

  1. I like asparagus and I look forward to asparagus season. However, it’s great for it to be a seasonal-only treat because after a certain number of bunches, I’m kind of over it until the next year.