Every year from April to June is the harvest season for white asparagus, also known as white asparagus season. As we enter April, it is prominently featured in supermarkets, open-air markets and vegetable stores in the Netherlands. Restaurant menus also offer seasonal dishes.
Some of the more common ways to prepare white asparagus are white asparagus gumbo, white asparagus salad, grilled white asparagus, and white asparagus with salmon. The most traditional way of cooking white asparagus is to boil it, serve it with hard-boiled eggs and ham, and top it with mayonnaise or toasted butter. This is an essential dish on the Dutch family table during Easter.
Nutritionists hold white asparagus in high esteem for its nutritional value, calling it "the platinum of vegetables" " the queen of vegetables". White asparagus is high in amino acids and trace elements and has a high medicinal value.
Compared to green asparagus, white asparagus contains a variety of amino acids essential to the human body in the right proportion, more inorganic salt elements such as selenium, molybdenum, magnesium, manganese and other trace elements, and also contains a large amount of non-protein nitrogenous substances and asparagine nitrogen acids, mainly asparagine.
Regular consumption is effective for heart disease, hypertension, tachycardia, fatigue, edema, cystitis, and difficulty in urination. Also, asparagus is beneficial for patients with cardiovascular disease, vascular sclerosis, nephritis, gallstones, and liver dysfunction.
White asparagus is grown in many provinces in the Netherlands, with the largest production in the southern province of Limburg, accounting for 62%, followed by North Brabant, accounting for 33%. The white asparagus produced in certain areas of the south of the Netherlands is called "Brabantsevol", a protected regional product officially recognized by the European Commission.
White asparagus grown in these regions using traditional methods can carry the "Brabanzevore" label. Because of the high quality of white asparagus produced in the Netherlands, every spring, food lovers from all over the world come to enjoy it.
Unlike green asparagus, it requires special care and patience to grow and harvest white asparagus. In order to prevent it from turning green after photosynthesis, the tops of the asparagus must be covered with soil in a special way to prevent them from coming into direct contact with sunlight. White asparagus is graded according to its color, with the whiter the grade, the higher the grade.
As the largest producer of white asparagus, Limburg has its own tradition of harvesting white asparagus on the second Thursday of April and making it into a delicacy to be enjoyed.
The province of Limburg also organizes "Gastronomic Discovery Tours" during the white asparagus season, where visitors learn about the experience of growing white asparagus at white asparagus farms, learn about asparagus at the National Museum of Asparagus and Mushrooms, and enjoy a sumptuous white asparagus meal at the production site.