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    After a long, freezing, winter signs of spring are popping up. Trees are blooming, sidewalk cafes are filling up, and open-toed shoes and sandals are making their debuts. Eagerly-anticipated spring vegetables are starting to show up on restaurant menus and farmers’ markets everywhere – ramps, asparagus, fava beans, and more. Strawberries, radishes, and rhubarb are starting to pop up as well. After months of eating potatoes, acorn squash, cabbage, and cauliflower, it’s always a treat to indulge in something fresh that’s a sign of many more weeks of abundant, exciting produce.

    How to Select and Purchase Asparagus:
    – Select bright green asparagus with closed, compact, and firm tips. Also look for cut ends that are not dry.
    – Select asparagus stalks that are about the same thickness so cooking will be uniform.
    – Thickness does not influence quality.
    – If the tips are slightly wilted, freshen them up by soaking them in cold water.

    How to Store Fresh Asparagus:
    – Storage of fresh asparagus is important. Fresh asparagus must be kept refrigerated at all times.
    – Wrap a moist paper towel around the stem ends and place in the refrigerator.
    – Keep fresh asparagus moist until you intend to use it.