The villages of Pernumia, Monselice, Due Carrare, Tribano and San Pietro Viminario – right next to the Euganean Hills – have a great production and distribution of asparagus, one of the local traditional spring vegetables.
Historical studies have lead to believe that asparagus come from ancient Mesopotamia but the Romans, who gave this name to the plant to indicate its edible portion (the apical bud), knew this plant and used it in as a healing and regenerating food.
Asparagus have a long, white underground stem. When the stem reaches the soil surfaced gets in contact with light, the sprouts change color: at first they become pink and purple and then green.
The asparagus from Pernumia has a peculiarity which distinguishes it from the others: it is scarcely fibrous which makes it more versatile to cook and easier to appreciate.
An excellent recipe is the “asparagus salad”: sliced raw, asparagus is delicious simply with olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice and served with salad leaves enriched with dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Asparagus are also excellent steamed and accompanied by boiled eggs and some Modena balsamic vinegar or even deep-fried.
Asparagus are depurative and diuretic; they are also rich in potassium and are a highly antioxidant vegetable. The best way to preserve the nutritional values and the original flavor while cooking is to steam the asparagus.