Huétor-Tájar asparagus for exquisite tastes

miércoles 13 de enero, 2016

Green asparagus from Huétor-Tájar is a natural bred obtained from cropped green asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) and wild asparagus (Asparagus maritimus L. Mill.), and belongs to the same botanical group of several wild species from the Mediterranean regions. This asparagus is obtained after selecting the best seeds from autochthonous asparagus plants, sheltered by the PGI that includes the municipalities of Huétor-Tájar, Loja, Villanueva Mesía, Moraleda de Zafayona, Illora and Salar.

This asparagus, included in the PGI since 2000, it is known for its purple, bronze-purple, green-purple, or green shoot. The stem is thin (4 to 12 mm of diameter), and the head pointed and thicker than the rest of the stem.

These asparagus feature tender, fleshy, firm texture as well as a delicate and intense bitter-sweet flavour, and deep aroma, the two latter coming from its wild asparagus ascendance.


Huétor-Tájar asparagus. Cropping and harvest

Green asparagus differs from white one because the former is harvested once it sprouts about 27 cm out of the soil. Then it performs photosynthesis and produces more nutrients. Other characteristic of this product is that it doesn’t need to be peeled, as its fibres are really thin, almost unnoticeable.

Harvest extends from March to June, and takes place at dawn every day, for the asparagus not to get dehydrated, always by hand and with extreme care. Quick transport is essential, to fresh processing facilities, or to canning industries, where it will be washed, gauged and sorted, and packed, being delivered to the market in less than 24 hours. The product is marketed in bunches, sorted by calibre and weight.

These asparagus are quite thin, which entails higher costs and retail prices.

Canned asparagus is marketed in jars of different weight, depending on customers’ demand. The main format included asparagus preserved in natural juice and in extra virgin olive oil. The logo and a numbered label provided by the Regulatory Council certifies that this product has been grown, harvested, and packed or canned in the territories included in the PGI, which is a sign of high quality.


More than food

Asparagus have been quite appreciated for longer than 5,000 years, being high social classes the only ones who could afford them. Besides their nutritional and dietetic values, given their high vitamin content and diuretic properties, they have high gastronomical value, as they can be integrated in a broad range of dishes of different ingredients and structures.

Recent research carried out in universities of Andalusia obtained a new variety of Huétor-Tájar green asparagus with higher content of flavonoids and saponins, compounds with high tumor-suppressor power and which helps to reduce cholesterol level.


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