Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Article

Asparagus: Is thin still in?

Fine Cooking Issue 92
Photo: Scott Phillips
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

Like models on the runway, it seems that asparagus get thinner and thinner with each spring season. A lamentable trend, really.

Surprised? Consider this: While wispy, pencil-thin asparagus might look nice on a plate, there’s more flavor to be had in the fat, meaty spears. Both sizes come from the same plant—a young plant produces fat spears, but as the plant ages, the shoots become thinner and thinner. (Plants that are too close together also tend to produce thinner stalks.)

Thin asparagus do cook in a flash, but they also become overcooked quite suddenly. With fatter stalks, you buy yourself a bit more leeway in the cooking time.

There’s a textural difference, too. Thicker asparagus have a higher flesh-to-skin ratio and a more succulent bite compared with thin stalks.

Some recipes will direct you to peel the asparagus stalks, which isn’t necessary (or easy) to do on thin stalks. On fat stalks, it’s purely a matter of personal preference.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

  • User avater
    bakesalot | 12/28/2021

    Skinny asparagus is a lamentable trend--akin to giant strawberries that have had the flavor hybridized out of them. And there's nothing better than fat asparagus stalks that have been peeled (an asparagus peeler rather than a regular peeler makes the job easy).

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Videos

View All

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.