Bassano Del Grappa White Asparagus
This product was discovered by accident in the 1500's after a hailstorm had destroyed the asparagus crop. The farmers were forced to harvest the remaining stems from underground, which were white from the lack of sunlight. They were astonished to find how tasty and tender the spears were.
From that moment, they decided they would cultivate it that way. Its fame has grown since then. It is picked to very strict measurements of 18-22 inches in length, laid down by the growers consortium, and the bundles tied with a distinctive willow strip.
It is another IGP mark protected production produce, and only grown in the small area of Bassano. The season isn't long - running April/May - long enough to have a big asparagus festival in Bassano.
People in Bassano are very protective of their famous asparagus, and have different opinions of the correct way to serve it.
The Bassano Way
1kg of Bassano white asparagus
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Boil the asparagus standing up in salted water for 10 - 15 mins, not let the tips touch the boiling water.
The asparagus is served with eggs, boiled 6 - 8 mins so the yolk is still creamy.
The eggs (2 per person) are then peeled and mashed with a fork, adding extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
The asparagus are then dipped in the sauce starting at the tip.