|Asparagus has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years!
The name asparagus, comes from the Greek language meaning"sprout" or "shoot" and is a member of the Lily family. Widely cultivated for its tender, edible shoots, asparagus cultivation began more than 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean Region. Greeks and Romans prized asparagus for its unique flavor, texture and alleged medicinal qualities. They ate it fresh and dried the vegetable to use in winter.
One could say asparagus is an international food. With its high tolerance for salt and its preference for sandy soils, wild asparagus is found in places as diverse as England, central Wisconsin (USA), Russia and Poland. Ancient writings depict asparagus usage in Egypt and it has been grown in Syria and Spain since Ancient times.
In the 16th Century, asparagus gained popularity in France and in England and from there asparagus was brought to America by the early Colonists. Asparagus is often called the "Food of Kings." King Louis XIV of France was so fond of this delicacy that he ordered special greenhouses build so he could enjoy asparagus all year round!
Asparagus is very versatile. In China, asparagus spears are candied and served as special treats. It is widely popular today as a scrumptious, fresh, healthy vegetable. People through-out Europe, Asia, and the New World use fresh asparagus in their favorite cuisine.