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Hi! Christi Ferretti here with Expert Village talking to you today about asparagus. Ever
wonder how to pick good asparagus in a grocery store? Most people look at it and think the
skinniest ones are going to be the most tender. To a degree, that is true. But, there are
actually different varieties of asparagus that many people don't necessarily know about.
There's pencil size, there's this size here, and then there's the larger, thicker, chunkier
size which are typically, depending on what you're doing, a little more tough. But depending
on how you cook it, you can tenderize it. Today, we're really talking about picking
fresh asparagus. It doesn't really matter what variety you're picking. It's really about
what the asparagus itself looks like. You want to make sure you have a consistent color
from the top almost to the bottom, knowing that you're going to trim the bottom end here.
When you look at pieces like this, you can see there's much more of a difference in the
color. You're going to get one or two within a bunch that are going to have that variation.
But you want to avoid large bunches that all look like this. This is not going to be very
tender, not going to be very flavorful. The other thing that you want to look at, and
I have two bunches here. This is a more fresh set and you can look at the tips and they're
pretty much all together, they're a little fluffy, they've got a little spring to them.
And when you look over here, you're going to see that these have sort of started to
kind of decay. They're soft and mushy at the top. Some of them are worse than others. Let's
see. That kind of gives you a good idea. This is usually what you get when you take it out
of your crisping drawer in your refrigerator after a week. This is not what you should
be taking home from the grocery store. Now one thing you need to consider when picking
up asparagus at the store is how are the vegetables stored. And every grocery store is a little
bit different. This particular bunch was actually piled up on top of crushed ice. And I know
if you go to grocery stores early in the morning, they're piling crushed ice on the vegetable
and produce area and then they're just stacking their vegetables on top. This is one instance
where pulling from the bottom may not be so smart. If you look at this piece here, this
has been pushed against the ice. So what's happening is it's actually freezing the asparagus
along the edge, and it's causing it to decay. It's going to create ice crystals within the
asparagus which is going to basically make that mushy. The more that happens, the worst
product you have in the end. So in this case, just take a look. Open it up, make sure you're
getting the freshest, nicest asparagus you can have. It's going to last longer. It's
going to taste better at home.