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Saturday 17 September 2011


The word asparagus comes from the Greek asparagos, meaning a shoot or sprout.

The ancient Egyptians were the first to record a love of asparagus. Pharaoh Akhenaton and his queen Nefertiti called asparagus a food of the gods.

The ancient Greeks did not use asparagus as a food, instead it gained quite a reputation as a medicine for a wide range of ailments ranging from the prevention of bee stings to dropsy, heart trouble and toothache.

The Roman Emperor Augustus organized Asparagus Fleets and elite military units to procure the vegetable for him.

The asparagus has a strong acid element which in many people creates a pungent color in their urine. In olden times when chamber pots were in common use asparagus was referred to as 'chambermaids horror.'

Asparagus may be the most well-known urine changer, and even Benjamin Franklin acknowledged that just “a few stems of asparagus eaten, shall give our urine a disagreeable odor.”  However, it was compared to "a flask of perfume" by Marcel Proust.

Asparagus is an aphrodisiac and in the 19th century three courses of the vegetable were served to bridegrooms.

Asparagus As A Hobby For Amateurs was an influential guide to asparagus growing written by Edward Heron-Allen in 1934.

The UK's first frozen food product was asparagus sold by Smedley's of Wisbech in 1937. One 1937 advert promised; "We can give you beautiful green-tipped spears of Evesham Asparagus at Christmas, and they are as fresh as the morning they were cut."

In 2015, Whole Foods tried to sell Asparagus Water for $6 (literally three stalks of asparagus in a bottle of water). Twitter users made fun of the company for selling such a ridiculously pricey item. The company's CEO then issued an apology and pulled off the product from the shelves. 

The ‘proper’ way to eat it is with your fingers according to etiquette guide Debrett’s - even the Queen eats it this way.

Asparagus is known throughout the world as the ‘queen of vegetables.’

Asparagus is part of the lily family and was called ‘sparrow grass’ in the 17th century.

It can grow six inches in 24 hours on a warm day, sometimes more, and turns from white to green only when it hits the sunlight.

Asparagus has no fat, no cholesterol and is low in sodium.

The soil on Mars is perfect for growing asparagus.

More than 50,000 tons of asparagus are grown in California every year, which is about 70% of all the asparagus grown in the United States.

China is by far the world's largest producer of asparagus: in 2017 it produced 7,845,162 tonnes, followed by Peru with 383,098 tonnes and Mexico with 245,681 tonnes.

Source Daily Express

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