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Food and wine

Veneto

The white asparagus of Cimadolmo, a vegetable loved since ancient times

05 July 2022

This traditional, prized vegetable comes to us directly from the tables of antiquity.
The white asparagus of Cimadolmo PGI was once eaten by the Ancient Egyptians and Romans.
Recent cultivation dates back a century and a half and is predominantly focused in Veneto.
Only the young shoots, called turions, are boiled, becoming the main ingredient, or side dish of choice, in traditional dishes that are nothing short of exquisite.

1. Delicate flavour and valuable nutrients

The name of the white asparagus of Cimadolmo, which carries Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), comes directly from the Latin word “asparagus”.
This type of asparagus has a light colour with tender, sweet tips and must not show any bruising in the shoots to be considered of excellent quality.
It has a rather mellow flavour. As for its properties, it is diuretic and packed with essential nutrients.

A serving of asparagus is rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, as well as vitamins such as C, riboflavin and folic acid. It contains very few calories and carbohydrates and is high in protein. 

3. When does the white asparagus of Cimadolmo grow?

You might be wondering when is the perfect time to harvest white asparagus from Cimadolmo? Well, it is a spring vegetable that reaches full maturity towards the end of March. Harvesting generally continues for about twenty days after three years of planting and for a couple of months after the fourth year of cultivation.

What does a perfect white asparagus shoot look like? There should not be any tinge of green on the shoot, not even at the tip.

How is it possible for asparagus to be so light in colour? This is due to the practise of “mulching”, which involves covering the soil with dark sheets made out of a suitable material while it is growing. Without light, chlorophyll photosynthesis is inhibited and the plant loses its green colour. 

4. Hikes and walks along the Route of Asparagus

The Route of Asparagus was established in 2006. It encompasses the main production areas, that is, the municipalities close to the Piave river, between Ponte della Priula and Ponte di Piave, focusing on Cimadolmo. It is sure to be a route of delicious discovery!