Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Asparagus Guacamole and Asparagus Salsa

The spring weather is beautiful, and in just a few weeks, peak asparagus season will have arrrived. I'm eager to go outside and play, but want to eat something first because it's lunch time. With jars of Esparrago Zesty Chunky Asparagus Salsa, Mild Asparagus Guacamole, and Zesty Asparagus Guacamole waiting to be sampled in the kitchen, this could be a good time for me to taste them. Slowly and deliberately, I try all three with tostado chips, and soon find myself coming back for more and more. Before long, lunch has become an afterthought, and except for the the tostado chips, I've consumed zero fat, zero cholesterol, zero glutens, and negligible calories.

Like most people, I'm accustomed to guacamole made with avocado, and find it interesting that asparagus would prove so apt a substitute. The Esparrago guacamoles look and taste pretty much like one might expect guacamole to look and taste. With the salsa, tomatoes are also prevalent with half-inch chunks of asparagus dispersed throughout. For better or worse, the flavor profiles of both Esparrago guacamoles as well as its salsa, while pleasing to my palate, seemed more neutral than I would have expected considering that asparagus was the main ingredient. The good folks involved with Cedar Run Farms LLC, which owns the Esparrago production and marketing rights, note on the company's web site that all three items are great for plopping on a burger, dressing up a salad, or topping off an omelet.

Those good folks are the Walkers, whose 300 acre farm near Pittsgrove, New Jersey, has been in the family since the 1840's. After becoming involved with the asparagus breeding program at Rutgers University in the 1970's, they later became licensed by Rutgers as the exclusive seed producer for all New Jersey male hybrid asparagus varieties. The salsa business resulted from a desire to use their own fresh-grown asparagus in the production process.
Unfortunately, no Baltimore area retailer carries this unique line. However, all three items can be purchased through the Cedar Run Farms website. The labels rightly boast "No Guilt," and I'm not aware of many other prepared specialty food products worthy of making such a claim that are as attractive to me.