Classifying Asparagus

After harvesting, asparagus spears are quickly taken to packing sheds, where they are washed, trimmed and sorted by size. Asparagus are sorted into four commercial sizes; small, standard, large and jumbo. Actualy there´s a fifth size that has´t gained commercial value since the spear is too small thin and tender. This fifth size must be harvested even when it will not attain a commercial size, and if it does, the taste and tenderness will be significantly degraded. This fifth size can be used to make soups, consommés, creams, pattés and many other liquified recipies.

The spears are then packed in wood or fiber board crates with moist pads on the bottom to prevent drying during shipment. A space is left at the top to allow for elongation of spears, which continue to grow. Next, the crates of asparagus are rapidly cooled by a process called "hydro-cooling", to reduce further growth during shipping.

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