It’s National Asparagus Month – and as Norfolk caterers we’re excited to hear growers are predicting a bumper local harvest.

East Anglia is one of the UK’s traditional asparagus growing areas – and top local farmer Tim Jolly says the light sandy soil of the Brecks provide ideal conditions.  But it’s a short season spanning just six to eight weeks so us Norfolk caterers have to make the most of it while it lasts!

Asparagus lends itself perfectly to early summer dining.  We recommend serving local asparagus as a starter with hollandaise, with an egg vinaigrette as a salad side dish or as an accompaniment to a fish main course.  Or for a fun brunch how about wrapping steamed asparagus spears in Parma ham and serving them with soft boiled ‘dipping’ duck eggs?!

As Norfolk caterers we’re passionate about quality local produce so of course when it comes to menus we encourage our clients to embrace what’s in season.  And with the local asparagus season coinciding with the early summer wedding season, it’s always a popular choice!

“We’re fortunate to live in a part of the country that does have fantastic local produce and we really look forward to the start of the asparagus season,” said Expresso Head Chef John Iverson.

“Food provenance is incredibly important and when it comes to asparagus Norfolk caterers really can keep food miles to a minimum,” he added.

ASPARAGUS IS GOOD FOR YOU!

Packed with vitamins, as well as being full of fibre and folic acid, asparagus is definitely good for you!   While it takes three years to grow from seed, once it gets going asparagus can grow at up to six inches a day – which means local farmers have to be on their toes when it comes to harvesting!

A member of the lily family, asparagus first came to Britain with the Romans.  Long considered a delicacy, in the past asparagus has been prized as highly as oysters or truffles.  Even today our appetite for fine British asparagus ensures there’s none left over for export!

WHITE GOLD

Expresso Director Roland Schreiber said that in his native Germany white asparagus was sometimes referred to as ‘white gold’.

In fact the Germans and Swiss tuck into more white asparagus than any other nations in the world, with the Germans buying 50% of their asparagus at roadside and market stalls.

Roland added that the ‘Spargelsaison’ was widely celebrated in Germany, where restaurants traditionally offered ‘asparagus menus’.

Further reading:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/24/mild-spring-bumper-asparagus-season

http://www.norfolk-asparagus.co.uk/home

http://www.british-asparagus.co.uk/index.php