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Asparagus: Main Image

Buying Tips

The peak season for fresh asparagus lasts from February through June; hothouse asparagus is available year-round in some regions. Asparagus is also available canned and frozen. When buying asparagus, choose firm, bright green (or pale ivory) stalks with tight tips. Wider spears are from older plants, and slender spears from younger ones; both are tender and flavorful.


Green asparagus is the most commonly seen type. White asparagus, which is grown underground to prevent chlorophyll from developing and turning it green, has thicker, smoother spears. It’s harder to find, but worth the effort. A less frequently seen variety is purple asparagus, called viola, which actually turns green during cooking.

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