Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Asparagus hunting!

By now, my kids know quite well that if we go hiking (or tiyuling) in February, I am most likely going to start searching for the elusive favorite plant of foragers, asparagus.

Yes, you can forage asparagus, especially in the Galil. I haven't found any in the Golan yet, but I have found plenty in a variety of places in the Galil.

staring into an asparagus patch
It takes a lot of looking. I stared at a particularly large patch of asparagus for a good 30 seconds before discerning those new small shoots that are still edible!

Asparagus is really only edible if you find shoots that are young. If you wait too long, they get woody and tasteless and even thorny. Not so good.
But if you catch them at the right time - you'll find gorgeous shoots of varying thicknesses, that are very tasty!

In my experience, asparagus patches that are right next to the beaten path are nearly always picked clean of new shoots by the time I find them, but if you're willing to go off the path even just a few feet, you can find some!

we found asparagus!
You'll recognize an asparagus patch by it's thorny overgrowth. Asparagus shoots that are not picked when young will keep growing and will send out offshoots which will open up into a very fine thorny foliage. So look for those. And then peer closer to the ground, at the edges or in the middle, if it's growing around a tree, and look for those gorgeous asparagus shoots!

Once you've found them, you'll know they are still tasty because you can just simply break them off with nearly no effort.

My kids tend to get annoyed with me, though, as my asparagus hunting seriously slows down our outings. But, well, they will just have to put up with it once a year in February!

I hope you find some too!

p.s. if you like the "bandana visors" my daughter and I are wearing the picture above, I still have some for sale. Please email me at ester@kosherfrugal.com for color availability and pricing information!

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