Sparrow Grass

I have one true love in my life, sorry chaps, and it doesn’t tend to come into full fruition until around Easter but when it arrives, I want it every day, I think about it all the time and when it comes to an end a few months later, I feel like I’ve lost something dear to me.

I love asparagus.

If I ever needed a rehab, it would be for asparagus. Some people are so keen on it for it’s aphrodisiac properties, they would probably be first in line for that kind of intervention.

Three courses of asparagus were served to 19th century bridegrooms due to its reputed aphrodisiacal powers. Shayk al Nefzawi, a notorious writer of erotic works in the 16th Century, claimed a daily dish of asparagus, first boiled, then fried in fat with egg yolks and condiments, has ‘great erotic effects.’ Asparagus is high in folates (folic acid) which triggers lustiness in us beings!

If these things aren’t your priorities, there’s the health benefits: Asparagus is low in calories with less than four kcal per average spear, which as part of a balanced diet can help weight loss. Asparagus is also very low in cholesterol, has no fat and very little sodium so can help to maintain heart function and blood pressure levels. Asparagus is one of the richest sources of rutin (a natural substance found in plants) which together with vitamin C, can help to energise and protect the body from infections. Asparagus is also a source of iron, which boosts the immune system and prevents anaemia.

Not only this but the levels of vitamin C and E present in this miracle vegetable make it great for skin, nails and hair!

There are hundreds of recipes for asparagus in the world and I will woo you with some in the following weeks until the season is completely finished but the best I can think of is steaming it in hot water for 5 minutes. Running it under freezing cold water for a minute to set the colour and then melting a huge lump of butter atop. The only thing to surpass this would be to make some hollandaise and dip those wondrous spears in and wipe the butter from your chin..

There’s even a guide to grow your own at the following link: http://www.british-asparagus.co.uk/grow_your_own.php

At home, we have always known it as Sparrow Grass; , the Oxford English Dictionary quotes John Walker as having written in 1791 that “Sparrow-grass is so general that asparagus has an air of stiffness and pedantry”. In Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, it is also known simply as “grass”.

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