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Organic asparagus (foreground)

Contestant #1: Organic from Salinas Valley 80 miles to the south, the town of Gonzales to be exact.  

Contestant #2: Conventionally grown from San Joaquin Delta to the north.

Purchased both from downtown Sunnyvale’s Farmers Market, at $3/bunch.

Examining the bunch I got from the San Joaquin Delta, the guy tending the organic stall actually commented that they are the best looking ones he has seen from them.

But the proof is always in the pudding.

Don‘t have time to fuss too much. Just blanch in salt water, ice bath, drizzle melted butter on top and some fresh lemon zest. Finally salt and pepper to taste.

First of all, both are very, very good. Juicy, sweet with a springy crunch. This is what eating with the season is all about.

However, there’s no doubt that the organic one has a much deeper, asparagus-y flavor. I tasted them with my eyes closed and had no problem telling the differences. It is like tasting between an over-watered tomato and one that is dry-farmed. Sure, one is fat and juicy, but that flavor as mother nature intended only comes through from the dry-farm.

Organic wins, again. And they are the same price, so why not?!


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