Asparago Bianco di Bassano PDO is a fresh vegetable belonging to the Asparagus officinalis L. species, deriving from the local Comune or Chiaro di Bassano ecotypes.
The production area of Asparago Bianco di Bassano PDO is within the municipalities of Bassano del Grappa, Cartigliano, Cassola, Mussolente, Pove del Grappa, Romano d’Ezzelino, Rosà, Rossano Veneto, Tezze sul Brenta and Marostica, in the Province of Vicenza, in the Veneto region.
The soils in the production area are extremely permeable, benefiting from the presence of the River Brenta. In order to avoid exposure to sunlight and to enable the spears to acquire their typical white colour, they are cultivated underground and covered with dark sheets. The soil is prepared in the autumn prior to planting. It is mandatory to carry out soil analysis at least once every five years, in order to study the principal parameters; soil with a pH of between 5,5 and 7,5 is considered suitable. The furrows must be 15-20 cm deep and should run from north to south, according to the prevailing winds of the Valsugana area. When the new cultures are planted with the transplantation of the asparagus roots, planting must take place in March and April, while the planting of plants takes place in June. Asparagus plants can only be replanted on the same land after four years. The asparagus can only be harvested three years after planting; harvesting is carried out manually between March 1st and June 15th. In the case of forced or protected (tunnel) cultures, harvesting can be brought forwards, with authorisation, to February 1st.
Appearance and Flavour
Asparago Bianco di Bassano PDO has long, straight and well-formed spears which are closed at the top; it is white in colour with possible pinkish hues. On eating, the spears shouldn’t be empty, cracked, skinless or split; they should only be slightly fibrous and must be tender, without lignification.
Asparago Bianco di Bassano PDO has ancient and legendary origins. Documents from the Most Serene Republic, dating back to the early VI century, describe the asparagus as a noble food offered at banquets and to important guests. Since the VII century, the asparagus has been widely present in the Bassanese area, and the popularity of the product is confirmed by numerous references in literary and artistic works.
Asparago Bianco di Bassano PDO does not keep for long and should therefore be stored correctly and consumed within a few days of being harvested. In order to conserve its intrinsic qualities, it is advisable to put it in water of between 6 and 8°C, thereby slowing down the oxidation process, and to avoid prolonged exposure to light and air. Their tenderness and particularly delicate aroma makes them an ideal ingredient for countless dishes, such as risotto, soups, pasta dishes and salads. Thanks to their delicacy and fragrance, they can be enjoyed in their entirety.
The product is marketed as Asparago Bianco di Bassano PDO. It is sold from March to June in bunches weighing 0.5 to 3 kg or more, which are bound together with a stroppa (a young willow branch), or in rolls weighing more than 3 kg. It is packaged in plastic, wood or other suitable materials.
The colour of Asparago Bianco di Bassano PDO is obtained through the underground production method, where they are protected by dark sheets to prevent the spears turning green in the sun. Furthermore, the Bassanese alluvial soil of origin and the mild climate, fundamentally influence the quality of this product.