It’s not the most, ahem, appetizing title, but it is a common question.
Asparagus, like rotten eggs, have sulfur containing compounds that are metabolized by our body and excreted by our kidneys. When the sulfur is broken down by our digestive system, it produces the characteristic odor and, well, you know the rest.
There’s research that says not everyone has the gene for the enzyme that breaks down the compound. To those of you, congratulations. Other research says that everyone does have the gene, but not everyone has a sniffer that can sense sulfer. If you’re in that camp, good for you. I, like many, fall into the “I have the gene and I can smell the sulfer”.
Sulfer and stinky pee are no reason to forgo cooking or eating asparagus. It’s a nutritional powerhouse-loaded with folic acid, potassium, fiber, thiamin and vitamins A, B6 and C-and very low in calories.
The beauty of asparagus is that it can be prepared and eaten in a variety of ways and with minimal effort. Take advantage of asparagus season (now) and try it grilled, sauteed, roasted, raw, al dente, steamed, microwaved, or pureed in soup. We eat if often at our house-typically roasted with a touch of olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of Mozarella cheese or with a touch of sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Many restaurants offer asparagus regularly as a salad or side dish. Victor Tangos in Dallas has an asparagus salad that is just superb.
How do you prepare your asparagus?
Tips on asparagus selection, preparation, storage and other FAQ’s.