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Locally-Grown White Asparagus in SW Ontario?

m
missmind Apr 26, 2010 02:39 PM

Anybody have any ideas about where I can get locally-grown white asparagus in SW Ontario? I'm in Windsor, and I'm willing to travel as far as Toronto.

  1. JamieK Apr 26, 2010 04:05 PM

    You might find this article interesting -
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/a...

    I've had 'spargal' in Austria during and it blew me away. The taste is nothing like the white asparagus here, must have something to do with terroir.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JamieK
      m
      missmind Apr 26, 2010 06:05 PM

      Wow, thanks, guys!

      The article above led me to Janssen Produce http://www.janssenproduce.ca/index.ph... . I'm going to make a little road trip out of it, and then I'll have to see how many friends I can rope into helping us eat 11lbs of it. Or, maybe we'll try it ourselves first and find that we'll be able to do the damage without help.

      Yay, Chowhound!

    2. m
      middydd Apr 26, 2010 03:59 PM

      Cookstown Greens website has it listed.

      http://www.cookstowngreens.com/page/s...

      1. ms. clicquot Apr 26, 2010 03:17 PM

        I had white asparagus last spring at Nota Bene that was described as Ontario grown. I believe they said it was from around the Barrie area. Maybe someone there could tell you the name of the farm it came from.

        http://notabenerestaurant.com/reserva...

        -----
        Nota Bene
        180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: ms. clicquot
          aser Apr 26, 2010 03:20 PM

          It's available but the season is extremely short, think 2-3 weeks.

          1. re: aser
            jayt90 Apr 26, 2010 05:45 PM

            It seems odd that it would be a short season. More likely hard to get and quickly snapped up long before the spikes spoil.
            The method is simple: mound earth over the shoots, to keep light out as they grow on root energy. This is similar to Belgian endive production, which has a lengthy season.
            The Star critic Pataki criticized white asparagus with a substantial skin, (tough) not knowing that this is normal, as the spikes grow slowly.
            My brother grows this as a hobby, but there is not usually very much for sale. www.wrightmanalpines.com

        2. munchieHK Apr 26, 2010 03:12 PM

          I've even seen it at Valu-Mart at Woodbine-Danforth, but it is always imported from Peru. The thing with white asparagus is that it needs to be very fresh. It gets bitter very quickly. That South American stuff is rubbish. I've never seen locally grown white asparagus anywhere in Canada. I've only ever had it in Holland and Germany, where the spring harvest is a major event. It is very delicious, but only when prepared properly.

          1. JamieK Apr 26, 2010 02:50 PM

            I've seen white asparagus in Summerhill Market but I don't know where it was grown. I'll try to remember to check next time I go in. Maybe I'll pick some up for myself. I love white asparagus!
            http://www.summerhillmarket.com/

            -----
            Summerhill Market
            446 Summerhill Ave, Toronto, ON M4W, CA

            1. duckdown Apr 26, 2010 02:49 PM

              Sorry I don't know the answer to your question, but I don't think I've ever had it.. What's it like? Taste the same as green asparagus? How do you prepare it?

              1 Reply
              1. re: duckdown
                JamieK Apr 26, 2010 04:07 PM

                It does not taste like green asparagus at all but I can't describe the taste except that's really really good. Traditionally, it's steamed and served with hollandaise sauce.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spargel

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