Weird French Food V

Part of the fun of staying in Paris for a few months is seeing the changing produce in the markets. A sure sign of spring is the appearance of French (not Spanish – pah!) asparagus on the market tables. The most prized, and costly, is the fat, white asparagus that we seldom see in North America.

IMG_1063  Compare the girth of the white variety to their skinny green cousins at left.

IMG_1061 More skinnies and fatties.

IMG_1078 There will be no comments about the Freudian aspect.

We decided to have a taste test. We would cook up the tender, green, skinny asperges and the bold, white fatties and see which was better. Our young dinner guest, Caitlin, kindly agreed to do a blind tasting. She was too pretty to blindfold, but she promised not to look.

IMG_1079 Getting ready to taste. On the table you see the white ones dressed in a simple vinaigrette. On the right are the green ones with a topping of chevre, tomato, and vinaigrette. Was this tipping the balance in favor of the green?

IMG_1080 First goes the white. Caty’s father excitedly helps himself to one.

Next is the green. Hey, is Caty peeking? No, her eyes are closed. IMG_1081

The verdict? Caty comes in on the side of the green, which she says “tastes green”. I know what she means.

IMG_1148 Caty the next day, at the Jardins du Luxembourg, none the worse for her exertions with asparagus.

At the table, the vote was split. Some sided for green based not only on the taste, but for the beautiful colour it gives the plate. Good point. Personally, I thought the white was ahead by a nose because in addition to having all the flavour of green asparagus, it had an appealing texture: firm on the outside, nicely mushy in the centre. If you see white asparagus why not have your own taste test and let me know how it turned out.