This type of asparagus has
many similar characteristics to green asparagus, but offers something new for
the asparagus connoisseur.
(1) The deep-burgundy
coloration produced in these spears is the most striking difference between the
purple and green varieties. *
(2) The spears are
generally larger and much more tender than its green counterpart. The vascular bundles have less lignin per
spear, which make the spears less stringy.
This allows the cook to use the entire spear with little waste.
(3) Sweet Purple
asparagus has a 20% higher sugar content.
Because of this extra sweetness, this vegetable is often eaten raw. When cooked, the sweetness gives this
asparagus a mild, nutty flavor.
Growing tips that are unique to Sweet Purple Asparagus
This variety is more
susceptible to rust than some of the green varieties; therefore it is important
to keep relative humidity within the crop canopy to a minimum. Drip or buried drip irrigation is
recommended. Planting the rows in the
direction of the prevailing winds also reduces relative humidity. Due to lack of fiber in the spears, the fern
tends to lie down in the furrows. This
is another reason to orient rows towards the prevailing winds.
*Applying vinegar or lemon juice to spears prior to cooking will
help to retain the purple coloration.
Otherwise, cooking this variety will result in varying degrees of color