Difference between white and green asparagus
White asparagus vs green asparagus:
Asparagus, regardless of color, is considered to be a highly nutritious legume which is widely consumed all over the world. Derived from the Asparagus officinalis which is a spring vegetable, both white and green asparagus belong to the same plant which hails from the genus Asparagus of the Asparagaceae family. However, many a debate has sprung up regarding the difference between white and green asparagus which can both be found in the marketplace. Is there a difference? If so, in what aspects? Let us observe.
What is white asparagus?
White asparagus, also known as white gold, edible ivory or the royal vegetable, is a vegetable which is cultivated using a method referred to as etiolation which basically means the deprivation of light. During this process, dirt is kept mounded around the emerging stalk, depriving the plant of light without which the plant is not able to produce chlorophyll that is responsible for the green color in plants. Farmers usually keep a close eye on white asparagus, taking care that all asparagus stalks are grown to the same height. White asparagus holds topmost demand in countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium.
What is green asparagus?
Green asparagus is rather particular about its growing conditions and it requires a lot of light to grow. Asparagus was initially grown in Spain until the 1980s when commercial interest in green asparagus started to develop. However, the demand for asparagus grew far more than Spain could cater to because of which an American hybrid version of asparagus was grown for commercial purposes. These plants are native to western coasts of Europe including countries from Northern Spain north of Ireland, Great Britain, and Northwest Germany. The countries which have a rather high demand for green asparagus can be stated as France, Italy, Germany and England.
What is the difference between green and white asparagus?
White and green asparagus are derived from the same plant Asparagus officinalis and possess a high amount of nutritional and medicinal value. Asparagus in general is known to contain rather high amounts of potassium which acts as an agent in maintaining electrolyte balance in cells and also folic acid which helps prevent birth defects, cervical colon and rectal cancer as well as heart disease. Asparagus is also known to provide a considerable amount of vitamin C which helps boost the body’s natural immune system and regulate blood pressure. Asparagus is also a good source of beta carotene which is known to act on the body as a diuretic. In addition to all these nutritional qualities, asparagus does not contain any cholesterol, sodium or fat which makes it the number one choice of health conscious individuals around the globe. And yet, white asparagus is known to contain a slightly less nutritional value than green asparagus owing to the different growing conditions that it undergoes.
White asparagus does not need any light to grow whereas green asparagus requires light to gain its green color. The white asparagus requires only slightly muddy soil whereas the green asparagus is quite demanding with regards to climatic conditions which control the growth of the plant. The ideal climate for the green asparagus is considered to be the continental Mediterranean climate where cold winters hold back growth and, in spring, cold nights in contrast with mild daytime temperatures allows the growth of plants only during the day. This ensures that the plants cannot go to seed and therefore, the harvesting period is prolonged in the process.
The green asparagus is quite fleshy than the white asparagus and bears a strong aroma in contrast with the white asparagus which tends to be rather tender and fragile than the green asparagus. However, white asparagus needs to be peeled prior to being consumed and it is also known to be much milder, sweeter and more buttery in flavor than the green asparagus. Although white asparagus is known to possess a slightly lower nutritional value than green asparagus, both are known to contain exceptional medicinal and nutritional value because of which both types are extremely popular among the public.