Asparagus -- do you snap?

When I was 18, I was in Belgium during asparagus season. White asparagus, and it was usually the main dish. We peeled. Mounds and mounds of peels. For a lot of years here in the U.S., I've had plenty of luck with the snapping technique. But I recognize what Amanda and Merrill have said, that there's not any proof that the stalk snaps at the right place.

We're coming to the end of a great asparagus year. I've eaten it asparagus every day for weeks and weeks--steamed roasted, in butter, in salads, in almost every absurdly addictive form I can think of. I snap. Is that wrong?



Sadassa_Ulna June 1, 2011
I do not snap. If the asparagus is thin I cut off very little, the thicker it is the more I tend to cut off the bottom.
betteirene May 31, 2011
I just did this tonight with my five-year-old grandson. He snapped, and I took all the trimmings, sliced off the dead ends and shaved the stalks with a peeler. The shavings curled up nicely in a bowl of ice water. We used them to garnish the salad and the pasta.

Sam1148 May 31, 2011
I don't snap. There still some bit bits that break off with the 'snap'. Just a 1inch or so cut to get rid of the woody stems for thick bits.

Just trim the stalks with a veggie to remove hard peel and expose the tender goodness that would be snapped away.
boulangere May 31, 2011
I toss the ends into stock.
with peter on this one... Snapping wastes too much of the good stuff, that I end up using the snap rejects perfectly well with other dishes.. just cut off a cm from the bottom and peel the tough parts & use it.
Anitalectric May 31, 2011
I prefer to eat asparagus raw, especially when it's in season. Maybe the weird thing that people don't like about the bottom part of asparagus happens when you cook it, because I cut it almost down to the bottom and it is still delicious and tender.
Chef K. May 31, 2011
I like to take the rubber band off, even the tops, and cut off the bottom portion to about 5 inches. Use a Sharpie marker for a guide. This makes them look even and more aesthetically pleasing. This is pretty much a standard practice in restaurants. Most of the asparagus we get is not too fibrous unless it is unusually large, so it's not a big issue. However, I've been told that you always want to peel white asparagus.
boulangere May 31, 2011
Don't tell anyone, but I snap with a knife also.
Peter May 31, 2011
Don't tell Amanda & Merrill, but I essentially snap. Ok, technically I don't even bother to snap. I just take a chef's knife and lop off the bottom inch or so -- more or less exactly what would be lost to a snap... but a lot faster because I can do the entire bundle of asparagus in 1 stroke while it's still in the rubber band. :-)
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