White asparagus is white because it is grown without being exposed to light, preventing photosynthesis and therefore the production of chlorophyll. As it begins to grow, soil is piled onto the seedling to keep it in the dark – a very labour intensive process which explains the pricetag on this highly revered spring vegetable. Part of the lily family, white asparagus is nowhere near as popular in the UK as the green variety. However, in Germany it is eaten in abundance when in season, with the average German eating two kilograms a year.
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