Food - Drink
The 3 Colors Of Asparagus, Explained
When you think of asparagus, the typical image of a bright green spear-shaped stalk probably comes to mind. However, asparagus comes in many varieties that can vary wildly in color, stalk width, and flavor — these are the most common shades of asparagus, and the reason behind their appearances.
The common green asparagus has rather thin stalks, and gets its color from the chlorophyll in the vegetables' cells, which is activated by the sun to give plants energy and a green color. Fittingly, green asparagus has more of a grassy flavor, which pairs well with butter or lemon when steamed, marinated, or blanched.
White asparagus gets its unique appearance from being grown in the dark, preventing photosynthesis. Farmers stop chlorophyll from taking hold by covering the asparagus with dirt or black plastic in a process called "etiolation," resulting in veggies a mild flavor and very thick stalks that should be peeled, then roasted or grilled.
Purple asparagus gets its attractive color from anthocyanins, antioxidant flavonoids with health benefits such as reducing inflammation and even cancer-healing properties, per Specialty Produce. This asparagus is tender with a sweeter, nuttier flavor, but the stalks are green on the inside, so you must quickly blanch them and nothing more to preserve the color.