Behind the Scenes / Taste

White asparagus arrives two months early

Aerial view of garden at Jordan Winery

In the Jordan estate garden, we focus on growing heirloom varieties and other fruits and vegetables that demand meticulous care. Our white asparagus arrived two months early this year (see winter garden post), so Sous Chef Manuel Reyes rushed out to the garden on Friday to bury all the asparagus spears in the ground. Why doesn’t white asparagus have color? White asparagus comes from the process of etiolation, which is the deprivation of light. Dirt is mounded around each emerging stalk, depriving it of sunshine. The plant cannot produce chlorophyll without light, thus there is no green color to the stalk. White asparagus is typically milder in flavor and more tender than its green counterpart.

Click here to view my Hanger Steak and Asparagus Salad recipe.

How to grow and harvest white asparagus | The Journey of Jordan Winery

[…] January 15, our white asparagus season arrived two months early, so we recorded a video of Sous Chef Manuel burying the asparagus to deprive the spears of light and ultimately color, so it doesn’t turn green. (El […]


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Todd Knoll

Executive chef at Jordan since 2007. Constant gardener, Paco Jet devotee and lover of dehydrated fruits, vegetables and herbs. Guilty pleasure: making sea salt in Hawaii.

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