Food

Asparagi di Bassano DOP

Asparagi di Bassano DOP -EFW
Written by EFW Staff

Asparagi di Bassano DOP: excellence of Veneto

Asparagus

Asparagus is a perennial herbaceous plant that starts to produce edible parts after 2 years. The greater production occurs when the plants are between 4 and 12 years old, whereas from 12 to 20 it decreases.
The part that you collect is the so-called “turione” that is the bud of the plant. The harvest of Asparagi di Bassano, ruled by the code of conduct, occurs between the first of March and the 15th June.

Peculiar characteristics of Asparago di Bassano

The most evident characteristic is the colour: not green but white. Actually the colour is mainly given by the cultivation method that keep the “turione” covered by the land, planting the roots deep in the soil: between 30 and 40 cm. The absence of light allows the asparagus to remain white. This cultivation method makes the asparagus softer and more delicate. Also its thicker shape than the green asparagus is another consequence of the underground cultivation. The central part of Asparagi di Bassano DOP has a diameter not less than 11 mm and a length between 18 and 22 cm.
Among the numerous rules of the code of conduct, some of them concern the bunch of asparagus.
First of all it has to be made of asparagus with a similar asparagus. Then, the external elements has to correspond to the internal elements and their weight enclosed between 0.5 and 4 kg; traditionally are tied together with a young and flexible branch of willow tree called “stroppia”.

A little history

Asparagi di Bassano DOP Veneto - EFW

Some archaeological rests states that the Egyptians already used asparagus. For sure, during the Romans, dishes with asparagus were, in the past as today, a culinary preparation in fashion. In Veneto their use in cuisine and their cultivation was described in documents of the Republic of Venice that can be dated back to the 15th century. At that time, asparagus were called “sparsi” and it is possible to read about “sparsi” in Bassano thanks to the documents of the Doge Andrea Gritti.
In 1980, the “Consorzio di Tutela dell’asparago bianco di Bassano” (White asparagus of Bassano Protection Consortium) was founded, whereas in 2007 this product received the certification of “Denominazione di Origine Protetta – DOP”.

Preservation, preparation and typical recipe

Asparagi di Bassano DOP ricetta con uova - EFW

Asparagus has to be cooked within few days from the harvest. The reason is to not affect the organoleptic properties or, better saying, to preserve the goodness of the product.
The trick to preserve it in the best way is to place the bunch, vertically, in a container with 1 cm of water on the bottom.
The price of Asparago di Bassano is little higher than the “non DOP asparagus”, but they don’t have a wooden part, on the contrary of the green asparagus where it is necessary to remove the lower part, often for 10 cm.
Asparago di Bassano needs to be cleaned under fresh water to remove the earth on it. The perfectionists usually peel the lower part of the stem with a potato peeler.
The classic cooking for asparagus is the boiling. Because the tops are softer and cook before the lower part, this cooking needs to be made following some simple rules.
Then, after the cleaning, we suggest to tie together the bunch of asparagus and boil it. You need a high pan, some cm more than asparagus and pretty narrow, in order to keep the bunch vertically. Add salt and make it boil. Now, immerge the asparagus. Keep the top outside water and covering the pan, it will cook thanks to the steam. They will be ready in 10 minutes.
The typical local dish is “asparagus and eggs of Bassano”, it is also the perfect way to taste asparagus because they perfectly match with the taste of eggs. Steam the asparagus, when they are still warm, place in each dish two eggs and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and few vinegar.
Imagine Source: ILMARTINO, flickr – decar66, flickr – roolrool, flickr

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