Asparagus Whole Spear Green
Asparagus, whose name stems from a Greek word used to refer to all tender shoots picked and savored while very young, is a member of the Lily family. Asparagus has been cultivated for over 2000 years, starting in the eastern Mediterranean region. Romans as early as 200 BC not only had how-to-grow- directions, but were freezing asparagus to preserve it. Ever since King Louis XIV of France had special greenhouses built so he could enjoy asparagus all year long, it has been called the "Food of Kings." Asparagus grows in a fairly wide range of climates. In North America alone it is grown from Michigan to Guatemala, however, it thrives in Mediterranean-style regions such as California, Mexico, and its home land, the Mediterranean basin. Wild asparagus is found in diverse places like Wisconsin, Russia, Poland, and England. California produces 70 to 80 percent of America's asparagus crop, Washington second, followed by Arizona, Oregon, New Jersey, Michigan, and Illinois. The United States imports a huge quantity of asparagus from Mexico, Peru, and Chile, with smaller amounts from Guatemala, Columbia, and Argentina. Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, essential for blood clotting. It provides a good source of fibre and vitamins A, C, and B.