Asparagus rarely appears on the shopping list, but it should. Because asparagus is suitable for much more than grilling, and now it’s finally in season.

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The asparagus has arrived

While Norwegians wait for the Norwegian strawberries or the cod to appear in stores, Germans eagerly await the asparagus. It is a significant event when asparagus is fresh and in season. At that time, it’s extra flavorful and a versatile vegetable that can be used in many ways.

Many think about green asparagus only with grilling and as a side dish for steak, but asparagus has a rich flavor that pairs well with various dishes.

You should eat more of it because it is a little-known nutritional treat.

Antje Gonera, a researcher at Nofima and project leader of the ASPARGES research project, says:

“Many forget that asparagus is a highly nutritious vegetable that is low in calories. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. By eating it, you get vitamin C, as well as folate, iron, and dietary fiber”.

What does asparagus taste like? 

Nofima has professional taste judges who have evaluated the scent and taste of different types of green asparagus. According to the taste panel, all green asparagus varieties share a flavor profile of being green, sweet, and slightly bitter.

The taste judges found differences in taste and aroma when comparing Norwegian asparagus to varieties from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Hungary.

Better taste and quality in Norwegian asparagus

 Norwegian asparagus had a sweeter taste and a grassy aroma, while the foreign ones smelled more like soil, cellar, and potato. The judges also noted that the foreign asparagus tasted more bitter.

Photo: Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Nofima

“When we observe that foreign asparagus has flavors and smells that make them less appealing to eat, we can attribute it to freshness and storage quality,” says Gonera, continuing:

“Norwegian asparagus has a shorter travel distance, whereas the foreign ones are transported longer distances. This affects the quality of the asparagus.”

She adds that Norwegian asparagus has significant advantages because it is easier to preserve flavor and quality when it is fresher and transported shorter distances.

Where does asparagus come from?

Most green asparagus available in Norwegian stores outside the season comes from Peru. During the season, it also comes from Spain, Italy, or Hungary. Only two percent comes from Norway.

The ASPARGES project aims to change that. Through the ASPARGES project, partners aim to increase the consumption of Norwegian asparagus. Additionally, the project aims to reduce waste and extend the Norwegian asparagus season, which currently lasts from early May to the end of June. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway for Agriculture and the Food Industry.

In stores now

Hvasser Asparges is the largest Norwegian producer of asparagus. During the season, they harvest asparagus as often as every day.

Photo: Stine Alm Hersleth, Nofima

Currently, Hvasser Asparges and a few other actors produce asparagus for the Norwegian market, but it’s still not enough to supply the entire country with Norwegian asparagus.

Therefore, many of us find only foreign asparagus in the store. But have a look, because if you live in Eastern Norway), there is a good chance you will find Norwegian asparagus.

And it tastes best right now.

Recipes with asparagus

Asparagus Risotto (Aspargesbygotto)


  • 8 dl vegetable broth (diluted)
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g fresh green asparagus
  • 200 g Arborio rice (risotto rice) – preferably replaced with Norwegian barley (byggryn)
  • 1 dl white wine
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 100 g frozen green peas
  • 20 g butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice


  1. Boil the broth.
  2. Trim the tough ends of the asparagus. Although it is fibrous, they have good flavor, so you can cook them in the vegetable broth for a few minutes.
  3. Cut off the asparagus tips. Dice the remaining stalks into small pieces. Boil them in the broth for half a minute. Remove and let them drain.
  4. Strain the broth.
  5. Finely chop the shallots and garlic.
  6. In a wide, preferably thick-bottomed pot, sauté the shallots in oil over medium heat until translucent.
  7. Add the rice (or barley) and continue stirring until the grains are coated and glossy.
  8. Pour in the white wine and warm broth gradually, stirring continuously.
  9. Simmer, stirring, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Continue adding broth until the rice (or barley) is almost cooked.
  10. Stir in the asparagus pieces, grated Parmesan, thawed peas, and butter in the last minute of cooking.
  11. The risotto should have a creamy consistency. Add more liquid if it becomes too thick.
  12. Season with salt, pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice.
  13. Garnish with asparagus tips and serve immediately.

Hvasser Asparagus Recipes

Hvasser Asparagus & Pizza


  • Pizza dough for one individual pizza
  • 2-4 tbsp Crème Fraîche
  • 3-4 optional tomatoes
  • 3-5 slices of good-quality cured ham
  • 5 Hvasser asparagus stalks


  1. Roll out the pizza dough.
  2. Spread desired amount of Crème Fraîche.
  3. Add toppings.
  4. Bake the pizza in the oven at 225°C for

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