National Asparagus Day Date in the current year: May 23, 2024

National Asparagus Day May 23 is a great day to treat yourself to a delicious asparagus dish because it is National Asparagus Day in the United States. It falls right in the middle of the asparagus season.

There are about 300 species in the genus Asparagus, but only one is commonly referred to as simply asparagus. It is Asparagus officinalis (garden asparagus), whose young shoots are eaten as a spring vegetable around the globe. The world’s top three producers of asparagus are China, Peru, and Mexico. In the United States, the production of asparagus is concentrated in California, Michigan and Washington.

Due to its short growing season, which normally lasts from late April to June, asparagus used to be considered a delicacy. Although today it is available during most of the year thanks to cold-resistance cultivars, new growing techniques and import, restaurants typically serve seasonal asparagus dishes in late spring and early summer.

Young asparagus shoots consist mostly of water, which makes them low in food energy. They are a good source of dietary fiber and a number of vitamins and dietary minerals, including carotenoids (provitamin A), thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate (vitamin B6), vitamins C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

Asparagus can be steamed, boiled, grilled or roasted, and served as an appetizer or a side dish. French-style asparagus is boiled or steamed and served with melted butter, hollandaise sauce, béchamel sauce, or olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese. An easy and popular appetizer is made by wrapping asparagus shoots in prosciutto or bacon and baking them. In Asia, asparagus is often stir-fried with beef, chicken, or shrimp. It can also be pickled or used as an ingredient in various dishes such as salads, soups, stews, pies, etc.

The origins of National Asparagus Day are unclear, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from celebrating. The best way to observe this amazing holiday is, of course, to eat some asparagus. You can boil, steam, grill or roast it, or make an asparagus salad, appetizer, quiche, soup or even pizza. Don’t forget to snap a photo of your delicious dish and post it on social media with the hashtag #NationalAsparagusDay to spread the word.

Other ways to celebrate National Asparagus Day include visiting a local farm and hand picking some fresh asparagus, or planning a trip to an asparagus festival. It may be too late for San Joaquin Asparagus Festival, which is usually held in April, but you still have time to attend the National Asparagus Festival in Oceana County, Michigan (the self-proclaimed Asparagus Capital of the World, a title disputed by the German town of Schwetzingen) that takes place every June.

American National Asparagus Day should not be confused with its British counterpart. In the United Kingdom, National Asparagus Day is celebrated annually on April 23 (Saint George’s Day), kicking off the asparagus season that traditionally lasts until Midsummer Day. The central event of the asparagus season in the UK is the National Asparagus Festival in the Vale of Eveshem.

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National Asparagus Day, food days, food holidays, unofficial holidays, observances in the US