Spring wild asparagus

April is the month to gather wild asparagus in the Zagori region of the National Park of Pindus, Greece

Greek:  άγρια σπαράγγια

April is the month to gather asparagus in the Zagori region of the National Park of Pindus, Greece. A walk in the woods of, mostly Quercus coccifera trees, will reward you with the tasty asparagus shoots. Bear in mind that only young asparagus shoots are commonly eaten: once the buds start to open (“ferning out”), the shoots quickly turn woody. So hurry up, the season is only two-three weeks long.

Some general information about the plant Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season, and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans even froze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus created the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action. A recipe for cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. The ancient Greek physician Galen (prominent among the Romans) mentioned asparagus as a beneficial herb during the second century AD, but after the Roman empire ended, asparagus drew little medieval attention. Water makes up 93% of Asparagus’s composition. Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound. Source: Wikipedia

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