What Does Asparagus Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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You heard from one of your friends that asparagus could be used to cure a hangover. You decide to give it a try, but you are hesitant. You have a question lingering in your mind, “What Does Asparagus Taste Like?”. Well, don’t be discouraged because we will talk about that today. 

Asparagus

Asparagus is a green vegetable that has a subtly sweet and bitter taste. This sweet-bitter flavor is complemented with an earthy grassy flavor. The taste of asparagus is similar to that of beans and broccoli. Old asparagus will have a mild sour taste.

Asparagus has a lot of health benefits to offer. Apart from that, I know your mind is brimming with many questions about asparagus, its taste, and various flavors. I got answers for everything you want to know about asparagus. Shall we get started right away?

What Is Asparagus?

Asparagus is a vegetable quite known for its tall, slender, but heavy stems. The thick stems of asparagus indicate its age – the thicker the stem, the older it will be its age. It was originally thought to be a part of the lily family but now has been placed into a new family known as Asparagaceae. 

Asparagus is commonly used as an ornamental plant owing to its appealing foliage. Garden asparagus and folk name sparrow grass are its other names. The young shoots of asparagus are used as spring vegetables.

Asparagus is not always green in color – there are white asparagus and purple asparagus. Apart from these, we will deal with other types of asparagus a little later.

What Does Asparagus Taste Like?

Asparagus

Asparagus is known for its ornamental qualities and health benefits. Aren’t you curious to know what asparagus tastes like? Isn’t that what you are waiting for? Let me not keep you on hold for long!

Asparagus has a mildly sweet, earthy, grassy flavor and subtle bitterness. This earthy, grassy flavor can be compared to green vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes, and green beans. 

Young asparagus has a mild, delicate flavor, while old asparagus can be sour. Many consider green beans to be the closest in taste as that to asparagus. Although asparagus has a mild flavor, it is still an acquired taste. 

Does Asparagus Taste Sour?

Asparagus has a mild, sweet flavor with a subtle grassy and earthy flavor. It also has a mild bitter taste to it. So, does asparagus taste sour? Let us find out.

Asparagus can taste bitter, especially if you try to eat its bottom, which has a stringy texture. Asparagus can taste sour if you get a hold of its old spears. Old spears taste sour, while young asparagus has a mild, delicate flavor. That said, well-spoilt and rotten asparagus can also have an extremely sour taste.  

Asparagus Vs. Broccoli | What Tastes Better?

Asparagus on a plate

Broccoli is a cruciferous plant from the cabbage family related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. It is also well-known for its distinctive flavor and health benefits. Its flavor is compared to that of asparagus. So, ready to find out what tastes better?

Asparagus has a mildly sweet, grassy, and earthy flavor with a subtle bitterness. Broccoli also has a very similar flavor profile – it is sweet, earthy, and grassy in flavor. Broccoli has a crispy, savory flavor compared to the delicate flavor of asparagus. What tastes better shouldn’t be a query since both vegetables are similar in taste and loaded with immense valuable nutrients. 

Does Asparagus Taste Like Corn?

Well, I am sure you know the taste of corn. Corn has a mildly sweet, buttery flavor, available in varied flavors. The flavor of corn can be enhanced by adding sugar, butter, or other seasoning agents. So, does asparagus taste like corn? Let us see.

Asparagus has a sweet, grassy flavor with a mildly bitter note. Among the three types of asparagus – green, white and purple – white asparagus is said to have a mildly sweet flavor, and this is comparable to that of corn and its flavor. Green asparagus has a grassy flavor, while the mild, delicate flavor of asparagus is deemed similar to that of corn. 

Why Does Asparagus Taste So Bad?

You bought a couple of asparagus stems and cooked them to enjoy their benefits. But things do not seem the way you thought them to be. Did you wonder why asparagus tastes so bad? I have the answer for you. Fresh asparagus generally has a mildly sweet, grassy, earthy flavor with bitter undertones.

If you don’t experience a sweet-bitter taste after cooking asparagus, it just means you cooked it incorrectly. Overcooking or undercooking asparagus can make it taste very bad. Overcooking asparagus can mean it was burnt or incorrectly seasoned.

The bad quality of asparagus can also give you an unfavorable taste. 

What Does White Asparagus Taste Like?

White Asparagus

You are familiar with the fact that asparagus is not always green in color. It is available in white and purple colors and has other types too. Right now, we are going to explore the taste of white asparagus.

White asparagus is white since it grows in the absence of sunlight. This prevents the growth of chlorophyll, which is responsible for the characteristic green color of plants. White asparagus has a mild, delicate flavor and a less earthy taste when compared to green asparagus. It tastes sweet with a slight hint of bitterness. 

What Does Purple Asparagus Taste Like?

Purple asparagus originates in Italy but is now cultivated in many other countries. It comes in three main varieties – Pacific Blue, Purple Passion, and Erasmus. Wondering what purple asparagus tastes like? Let us find the answer to it.

Purple asparagus has thick stalks that are woody, meaty, and fibrous in texture. It has a mild flavor that is similar to white asparagus but sweeter in flavor than green asparagus. The reason is that purple asparagus is said to contain the highest amount of sugars among other asparagus varieties. 

What Does Grilled Asparagus Taste Like?

Who doesn’t love grilled vegetables? The use of dry heat to smoothly cook vegetables is what grilling is all about. So what is the taste of grilled asparagus? Let us see.

Grilling asparagus with salt, pepper, and olive oil can enhance the overall flavor of asparagus. The taste can be quite refreshing. Grilled asparagus has a distinctive, tasty, delicious barbecue flavor and a crispy, crunchy texture, making it a perfect side dish for grilled meat. 

What Does Pickled Asparagus Taste Like?

Pickled Asparagus

If you have a penchant for pickles, I have some news. Asparagus is also enjoyed as pickles. Heard of it before? I bet you don’t. Well, prepare to know more about pickled asparagus and its taste.

Asparagus is pickled using salt, apple cider vinegar, garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns, fresh dill, and red pepper flakes. Pickled asparagus has a tangy and mildly spicy taste with subtle mustard, pepper, garlic, and dill notes. It becomes a great, crunchy, vinegary, sweet snack with a mild spicy kick. 

What Does Bad Asparagus Taste Like?

You can always find out easily if vegetables go stale. In the case of asparagus, you can call it bad asparagus if it has a foul smell and changed color and texture. What about the taste of bad asparagus?

Bad asparagus has a bad odor to start with. It smells funky, unlike fresh asparagus, which has a grassy flavor. Bad asparagus with defective quality lacks the distinctive sweet-bitter taste of fresh asparagus and can taste sour and unpleasant. Bad asparagus can also taste sour if it is undercooked or overcooked. 

What Does Raw Asparagus Taste Like?

I can’t tell you how much I love eating fresh raw vegetables. The freshness and the crispiness I enjoy are unparalleled. If you are like me, you just got a new vegetable on the list – asparagus. Let us look at the taste of raw asparagus.

Raw asparagus has a mild, sweet grassy flavor and subtly bitter taste. It might be an exercise for your tongue and teeth since asparagus basically has a thick, dense texture. Asparagus can be enjoyed raw since it is a powerhouse of many nutrients. But many prefer cooking it, so its tough texture is softened up.

What Does Canned Asparagus Taste Like?

Finding fresh vegetables is always not an easy task. Sometimes you will have to settle for canned vegetables. If that is the case, don’t you want to know what canned asparagus tastes like? Let us get to the answer.

Canned asparagus is a good alternative to fresh asparagus due to its easy availability. Canned asparagus has a salty, briny flavor and an acidic taste. It has a mushy texture and finds great use in cooking to deepen the otherwise unique flavor of asparagus.

Types Of Asparagus and Their Taste

Types of Asparagus

Asparagus comes in around twelve types (yeah, not just three). Each of them has slight differences in flavor and textural profiles. For the time being, let us look at the different types of asparagus and their taste.

Name of the Type of AsparagusTaste
Green AsparagusEarthy, grassy taste
White AsparagusMild, delicate, sweet with a slightly bitter taste
Purple AsparagusSweet, nutty taste
Wild AsparagusEarthy, grassy nutty taste
Apollo AsparagusEarthy, grassy taste
Atlas AsparagusRich, nutty taste
Jerry Series AsparagusIntense, meaty taste
Précoce D’Argenteuil AsparagusSweet taste
Mary Washington AsparagusMild, delicate taste
Purple Passion AsparagusSlightly sweet, nutty taste
UC 157 AsparagusMild, delicate taste
Viking KB3 AsparagusDelicious, meaty taste

Things That Affect The Taste Of Asparagus

Cooking and relishing asparagus isn’t a cumbersome task – you just need to get the hang of it. To get the hang of it, you need to be aware of the things that affect the taste of asparagus. The following points talk about just that.

  • The type of asparagus you use is a major factor affecting the taste of asparagus. Although there are many types of asparagus, the supreme categorization comprises green asparagus, white asparagus, and purple asparagus. Green and white asparagus taste similar with a mild, delicate grassy flavor, while purple asparagus tastes sweeter than these two.
  • How you cook is also something that must be considered seriously because improper cooking can surely affect the taste of asparagus. Raw asparagus has an earthy, grassy flavor with a subtle bitterness. Boiling and seasoning asparagus enhances its taste. You can deep-fry, roast, grill, or saute asparagus to boost its flavor.
  • Pairing asparagus with the right food items also affects the taste of asparagus. Since asparagus has a mild flavor, it easily takes up the flavor of other ingredients. It pairs well with garlic, parmesan cheese, ham, rice, tomatoes, chickpeas, hollandaise sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil.

How To Pick The Best Tasting Asparagus?

When you head to the store to pick up asparagus, you might be confused with a question – how to pick the best tasting asparagus for a delicious flavor? For the best tasting asparagus, you need to select it fresh. Don’t worry. Keep the following tips in mind, and you are good to go!

  • Look out for the stalks of asparagus. Fresh asparagus has a firm, straight and smooth stalks. Avoid buying asparagus that has stalks that limp and do not stand straight.
  • Whichever type of asparagus you plan to buy, check for the color. Be it white, green, or purple, asparagus should have a rich color and should not be dull or faded.
  • Another point to keep in mind is the asparagus’s size. Asparagus comes in four sizes: small, standard, large, and jumbo. No matter the size, you should be careful to buy asparagus, which has even-sized stalks.

How To Store Asparagus Properly?

Storing Asparagus

Asparagus is a one-night-only type of vegetable that has to be stored properly to keep it fresh and relish it tasty after cooking. Here are some of the ways by which you can ensure that your asparagus is stored properly.

  • Only wash asparagus just before your preparation. This helps to keep it fresh. Soaking and washing asparagus way before your cooking will definitely ruin its taste and texture
  • After trimming the bottom of your stalks, wrap the ends in a plastic bag. This can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days.
  • As for the stalks, place them in a bowl or vase with water in the bottom. Cover it in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator.

Best Ways To Use And Cook Asparagus

To get the best taste of asparagus, it is essential to cook it the best way. Following are some of the best ways to use and cook asparagus.

  • Blanching: The process of boiling asparagus in hot water and then quickly cooling it off will ensure your asparagus has a crunchy, fresh texture.
  • Steaming: Steaming asparagus for three to four minutes gives you a soft texture while cooking.
  • Roasting: This is perhaps the most commonly used way to cook asparagus. Roasting asparagus smeared with olive oil, salt, and pepper will give you amazing results.
  • Griddling: You can griddle asparagus with olive oil, and after griddling, you can season it with salt and pepper. 
  • Stir-frying: Asparagus can be stir-fried with other vegetables, and you don’t need much time to do that. This ensures that it gives a delicious flavor.
  • Broiling: Broiling asparagus is another way to make sure you have a tasty asparagus dish to enjoy. 

How To Make Your Asparagus More Delicious?

If you are all set to cook asparagus, make sure you follow the tips given below to make your asparagus more delicious.

  • Choose good quality asparagus that is fresh with no signs of spoilage.
  • Store the asparagus properly in the refrigerator to avoid messing with its flavor or texture.
  • Know the right way of preparing your asparagus before cooking. Trim the bottom of the asparagus because it is not tasty.
  • You can saute asparagus with butter to make it more delicious.
  • Take the help of a few aromatic herbs such as lemon balm, lemon-scented herbs, dill, chives, and tarragon to perk up the overall flavor of asparagus.

Health Benefits Of Asparagus

Benefits of Asparagus

Asparagus has a lot of health benefits to offer us. It is deemed a powerhouse of nutrition. In fact, some foodies consume asparagus solely for the health benefits given below:

  • Asparagus is rich in nutrients and less in calories. It is a very good source of micronutrients as well.
  • It is a good source of antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
  • It is high in insoluble fiber and is good for digestive health.
  • It is an excellent source of nutrition for pregnant women.
  • It helps in lowering blood pressure and in assisting weight loss.

Nutritional Content Of Asparagus

In a cup of asparagus (135 g), the following nutritional values are observed:

Calories27 kcal
Protein3 g
Total Fat0.16 g
Fiber3 g
Potassium273 mg
Vitamin C7.6 mg
Vitamin K56.2 mcg
Folate70.2 mcg

Final Word

That was all about asparagus and its taste. Asparagus is a vegetable that has an earthy, grassy flavor with subtle hints of sweetness and bitterness. It can be cooked in certain ways to better enhance its taste.

Asparagus is a must-try vegetable since it is packed with vital nutrients and minerals. Aren’t you going to taste asparagus and let me know all about it? See you soon with another article!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does asparagus taste sour?

Asparagus tastes sour when it is old. Fresh asparagus has a mildly sweet, grassy flavor. Spoilt asparagus can also taste sour.

What does asparagus go well with?

Asparagus can go well with garlic, parmesan cheese, ham, rice, tomatoes, chickpeas, hollandaise sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil.

What part of asparagus should you not eat?

You should not eat the woody stem at the bottom of an asparagus.

What part of asparagus is poisonous?

The berries or fruit of asparagus is toxic to humans.

What should Fresh asparagus smell like?

Fresh asparagus doesn’t have a particular odor.

What does asparagus do to urine?

The asparagusic acid in asparagus gets broken down into sulfur containing compounds which can cause an unpleasant scent in the urine.

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