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Sunday, 4 September 2011

Asparagus

The word asparagus comes from the Greek asparagos, meaning a shoot or sprout.

The ancient Egyptians were the first to record a love of asparagus. Pharaoh Ikhnaton and his queen Nefertiti called asparagus a food of the gods.

The ancient Greeks did not use asparagus as a food, instead it gained quite a reputation as a medicine for a wide range of ailments ranging from the prevention of bee stings to dropsy, heart trouble and toothache.

The Roman Emperor Augustus organized Asparagus Fleets and elite military units to procure the vegetable for him.


The asparagus has a strong acid element which in many people creates a pungent color in their urine. In olden times when chamber pots were in common use asparagus was referred to as 'chambermaids horror.'

Asparagus may be the most well-known urine changer, and even Benjamin Franklin acknowledged that just “a few stems of asparagus eaten, shall give our urine a disagreeable odor.”

In the 18th century, asparagus was popularly known by the name sparrow-grass.

Asparagus is an aphrodisiac and in the 19th century three courses of the vegetable were served to bridegrooms.

The odor of urine after eating asparagus, which was described by Benjamin Franklin as "disagreeable", was compared to "a flask of perfume" by Marcel Proust.

Asparagus As A Hobby For Amateurs was an influential guide to asparagus growing written by Edward Heron-Allen in 1934.

The ‘proper’ way to eat it is with your fingers according to etiquette guide Debrett’s - even the Queen eats it this way.

Asparagus is known throughout the world as the ‘queen of vegetables.’

It’s part of the lily family and was called ‘sparrow grass’ in the 17th century.

It can grow six inches in 24 hours on a warm day, sometimes more, and turns from white to green only when it hit’s the sunlight.

Asparagus has no fat, no cholesterol and is low in sodium.


The soil on Mars is perfect for growing asparagus.

More than 50,000 tons of asparagus are grown in California every year, which is about 70% of all the asparagus grown in the United States.

China is the world's largest producer: in 2012 (7,350,000 tonnes), at a large distance followed by Peru (376,645 tonnes), and Mexico (119,789 tonnes

Source Daily Express

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