New asparagus variety is tender enough to be eaten raw

Tesco has begun trialling a new variety of Norfolk-grown asparagus that can also be eaten raw.

image: Tesco
image: Tesco

The Burgundine variety is a purple-green cross which can be eaten raw after being washed as it contains lower amounts of lignin, the fibrous constituent of asparagus.

Tesco produce buyer James Strathdee said: "The great thing about Burgundine asparagus is its versatility because it can be eaten both raw and also gently steamed or stir fried.

"It is an eye-catching variety that is exceptionally sweet, juicy, crunchy and great for eating with dips and in salads. If customers like it then we plan to grow more for next year."

This is believed to be the first time the variety has been commercially grown in the UK, by Wye Valley Produce in Norfolk.

Tesco finest Burgundine salad asparagus went on sale in 102 Tesco stores from 27 April, priced at £2 for a 100g pack.

Meanwhile online retailer Ocado is once again exclusively selling Crown Jewel asparagus, which boasts unusually high levels of the amino-acid asparagine, giving it a stronger, sweeter flavour.

Supplied by Barfoots of Botley, the hand-picked spears are also high in antioxidant anthocyanins, giving them a purple colouration around the spear tip.

Barfoots business unit director James Meers, said: "We were blown away by the interest Crown Jewel got last year so I am really excited to see it return. The rating system on Ocado gave us direct consumer feedback and 5 starts out of 5 tells me this is a product that consumers really get."

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