If left standing at room temperature, the asparagus would continue to grow; the top buds would open, and the stalks would lose sugar. Asparagus stored at 32&def;F (0°C) holds 2 weeks before losing half of its sugar; stored at 50°F (10°C), one week; 68°F (20°C), 2 days; and at 86°F (30°C), half the sugar is gone after only half a day.
Remove the very end of the asparagus stalks and store them upright in an inch of water in the refrigerator. This way they absorb moisture up through their stems and stay fresh for 7 to 10 days. Peel just before using.
If asparagus is peeled earlier, wrap in damp paper towels, place in plastic bag, and refrigerate, because the flesh browns upon exposure to air. Peeled asparagus should be used within 2 or 3 days.
To freeze fresh asparagus select young tender spears. Wash thoroughly and trim stalk ends slightly; leave spears whole or cut in 2 inch lengths. Remove scales with a sharp knife and sort according to stalk thickness. Blanch small spears for 2 minutes in boiling water, medium spears for 3 minutes, and large spears for 4 minutes. Submerge asparagus immediately into ice water; drain and package in plastic freezer bags or containers, leaving no excess air space. Seal, label and freeze at 0°F (-17.8°C); best if used within 8 months for best quality.
Canned asparagus can be stored for 1 year.
Asparagus can also be pickled.
White asparagus comes from the process depriving asparagus of light. This is accomplished by mounding dirt around the emerging stalk, preventing the production of chlorophyll. Therefore, there is no green color to the stalks.
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