Whether served up in Bloody Mary or placed on a plate alongside a baked potato and a slab of salmon - it's ASPARAGUS season baby!

Time to Go for the GREEN!!!!

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Asparafest is ON!

This weekend May 13-15, Union Gap, WA celebrates Asparafest!   That's when a variety of restaurants and fruit stands feature the special spears on menus and in recipes. For example:

Fresh asparagus should be available as long as the season lasts.at fruit stands and the Valley Mall Farmers Market in the Sears parking lot on Saturdays (not a typo-it's been moved from Sunday)

Michigan leads the nation followed by Washington, and California as the top state producers of asparagus. Known by some as "the Green Gold", the veggie is actually part of a famous flower family.

Bet You Didn't Know

The springtime delicacy Garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a herbaceous perennial plant that's a member of the lily family. The slender spears with their pointed, scaled tips that are eaten are actually the young shoots of the plant. If left to grow, these become a giant, feathery fernlike plant that dies back in the fall.

The lily family of plants is one of the largest in the plant kingdom, with members growing in all temperate regions of the planet., including some of the most widely grown and most admired flowers like true lilies and tulips as well as some familiar edibles and medicinal plants.

 I prefer It Pickled, Please

While I'm not personally a big fan of raw asparagus and only mildly in favor of grilled "grass", I'm all in on pickled asparagus and if you haven't tried it you should!  Be forewarned, even pickled asparagus produces the...you know...

Everyone makes “asparagus pee,” but not everyone can smell it.

Scientific study has confirmed why some individuals don’t notice the uniquely pungent urine experienced by others after eating asparagus: The sulfurous compounds in asparagus pee are highly correlated with a condition called “specific anosmia,” the genetic inability to smell certain odors. In an infamous blind smell test, 328 individuals were subjected to the odor of a man’s urine after he had eaten asparagus. The majority of those who had experienced asparagus pee themselves were able to correctly identify the substance, while those that claimed their urine did not smell strangely after consuming asparagus were not.

Get A Move On!

Folks from all over the state come hustling into the Yakima Valley during asparagus season but according to an atricle about 10 things you didn't know about asparagus,  the Latin saying  “Velocius quam asparagi conquantur! (or “Faster than cooking asparagus”)  which can be loosely translated as, “Get going already!” became a thing because Emorer Ceasar Augustus loved asparagus so much. History tells us he organized elite military units to procure it for him. The famed Asparagus Fleets made rounds in the empire to import the best varietals back to Rome, while the fastest runners were employed to carry fresh spears high in the Alps, where it could be frozen for later use.

Ceasar would have loved Asparafest...and so will you!

Eric Patrick, Tourism Director for Union Gap, invites us to come taste for ourselves!

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