The problem of what to serve vegetarians at your BBQ this summer has been solved thanks to an imaginative farmer from Herefordshire.
Asparagus might not be what most people think of as a vegetable made for grilling, but Chris Chinn has developed jumbo-sized spears that can withstand the searing heat given off by charcoal.
The new asparagus spears are much thicker which will help stop them from rolling through the grill and into the burning coals, and it will also prevent them burning up too much on their delicate tips.
Chris, managing director of one of the UK’s biggest asparagus growers, Cobrey Farms in Ross-on-Wye, worked with Tesco who will this week launch the UK’s first dedicated BBQ range of the vegetable.
He said: “The taste of barbecued asparagus is absolutely wonderful.
“But some enthusiasts have a problem with regular-sized spears that can be quite thin and difficult to cook on a griddle.
“So we’ve selected far chunkier spears that are much juicier and perfect for cooking on a BBQ.”
Brits have been venturing away from the traditional banger and burger style BBQs, and trying more interesting meats, cheeses and vegetables on their grill.
Tesco asparagus buyer Anna Baker said: “Over the last few years especially, asparagus has become increasingly popular as a healthy treat to add to the BBQ. During the spring and summer season demand jumps by about 25 percent.
“These asparagus spears have a distinct visual difference against the rest of our range as they have a much thicker spear which makes them perfect for the barbecue. The thicker spears give a sweeter and tender taste and eating experience.”
The vegetable is low in fat with typically less than 1g fat per 100g, and low in calories, with less than 25 calories per 100g. It is also a source of folic acid, vitamin C and thiamin for a healthy immune system.
Cobrey Farms has supplied Tesco with asparagus for more than 20 years. The family business also grows green beans, blueberries, rhubarb and potatoes on 3,500 acres of land.
Tesco Jumbo BBQ Asparagus goes on sale from this weekend and costs £4 for a 400g bundle.
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