Hunting for Wild Asparagus #
Welcome, spring time! Welcome, wild asparagus! One of the tastiest wild plants might be growing right in your backyard!
The happy season has started! The sun coming is out, all over the island almond trees are bursting into bloom and Mallorca's glorious hiking trails beckon. Spring also means it's time for wild asparagus hunting. In Mallorca you can find the green wild asparagus, also known as esparragos trigueros or “wheat field asparagus” because it often grows on the verges of fields.
Where to look and what it looks like #
You’ll have the biggest chance of finding them walking along small country roads in the centre of the island. But if you know what to look for, you can find the spiky plant with its delicious shoots in other terrain, too, especially in more forest-like surroundings, often tangled up in the vegetation growing around it. The edible shoots grow straight up from the plant like little spears. s spiky plant. They are softer than the rest and break easily when picking.
Wild asparagus is longer and thinner than the cultivated varieties sold in stores. Also, it tastes a lot better than store bought due to its rich natural flavors. And of course, it is free from preservatives, artificial coloring or fertilizer residues - just pure nature! And anyway, what tastes better than something you found and picked yourself?!
Go prepared #
- Bring a pruning knife or secateurs to cut the shoots. Don't pull or tear and never ever tear out the whole plant! It's perennial and will produce more asparagus to harvest next year.
- Bring work gloves and be extra careful when picking as the spikes on the plant are needle-sharp and can scratch you badly.
- Wear something long-sleeved and long pants of durable material to protect yourself.
- Wear your walking boots!
Enjoy the Hunt #
Picking wild asparagus is not just about finding a potentially delicious meal, it’s the experience of slowly strolling through the beautiful Mallorquin landscape, getting a sense of the Mediterranean vegetation and the fresh air that comes with it. Enjoy the birds chirping and the quiet noisees of nature, while keeping a sharp eye to the ground.
Stay safe #
Once you get home, don't forget to check your clothes and skin for ticks! Where asparagus flourishes, so do these nasty little blood suckers.
How to Use #
Use wild asparagus in a tortilla, an omelet or maybe even better, just sautéed in some olive oil with a pinch of salt sprinkled on top. As wild asparagus can be slightly bitter, some might prefer to boil them in water for a short while before use. Let your taste buds guide you.
Affordable Mallorca Tip: In case you return home empty-handed from your hunt in the great outdoors, you can be sure to find wild asparagus, when it's in season, in every local market or Palma's indoor markets such as Mercado Olivar market or Mercado Santa Catalina market.
By Maria Strömqvist
27 February, 2019