Our featured farm fresh ingredient is ASPARAGUS. You can find this vegetable highlighted in many of the dishes on our menu.
In Ontario, asparagus marks the start of our harvest season. We are excited to showcase this ingredient as the first in our series of Earth to Table menus.
View our current menu here.
Asparagus officinalis is a vegetable and an herbaceous perennial. It is a member of the Lily family, that includes onions, garlic, leeks, turnips and gladioli. Asparagus shoots rise from underground “crowns” that are planted about 8-inches deep. Under ideal weather conditions, an asparagus "spear", can grow 10” in a 24-hour period. If not harvested, the shoots grow into tall fern like plants with small red seeds. Once the shoot starts to “leaf out” the stems become woody and inedible. Asparagus is a long-lived crop that can be productive for 15 or more years if given proper care.
There are three different colours of asparagus: green, white and purple.
GREEN asparagus has colour because of a process called "photosynthesis". This is a process where plants use sunlight to produce chlorophyll - giving them their green colour.
WHITE asparagus is actually green asparagus, but the farmer mounds soil on top of the spears so they never see the sunlight. White asparagus does not perform ‘photosynthesis’, therefore has no colour.
PURPLE asparagus is a variety of green asparagus with a gene that makes it purple. It still performs photosynthesis. Purple asparagus is sweeter than green asparagus.
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