As St. George’s Day approaches, a campaign is afoot to have the asparagus (possibly the best in the world) declared the new symbol of England. Learn more about this delicious veggie and the British Asparagus Season.
British asparagus is regularly said to be the best in the world but is only in season from April to June. However, back in the late 17th century, it used to be sold as early as the first week in February: it was kept under glass bells, heated by dung.
The season now officially starts on St George’s Day, 23 April, and the British Asparagus Festival in the Vale of Evesham is spearheading a campaign to have the asparagus made the national symbol for England, much as the Welsh have their leeks. The Festival, from 23 April to 21 June, kicks off at Evesham’s Abbey Park in St George’s Day. There are Asparabus Tours on certain dates to take you around the area. The Fleece Inn at Bretforton in Worcestershire, owned by the National Trust, holds its annual Asparagus Auction on 30 May this year and Asparagus Festival Day on 31 May. In the restaurant, landlord Nigel Smith (below) serves asparagus “plain and
simple so you can taste the flavour”, steamed to dip in butter, with
local thick cut ham and new potatoes, or with salmon.
On Merseyside, Claremont Farm at Bebington on the Wirral celebrates the season with events for food-loving visitors, including Aspargus Evenings with demonstrations by local chefs and producers. In Dorset, the Coventry Arms at Corfe Mullen near Wimborne Minster offers daily changing menus with asparagus picked fresh each morning from local growers. In West Sussex, Tulleys Farm holds Asparagus Day on 15 May, while, in York, Meltons and its sister restaurant, Meltons Too, will also serve asparagus dishes.
For information about events, recipes and where to buy asparagus, go to: www.british-asparagus.co.uk.