So far this year has snuck away from me without much by the way of sagra events, and the chance to visit the one for the pink asparagus – asparago rosa – of Mezzago was another that got away from us. Asparagus season is probably still happening much further north in the old country – Britain? Germany? Northern France? – but for us here in Lombardy it is nearly finished.
I learned of Mezzago’s asparagus sagra by way of an early google alert, yet even with plenty of notice, we simply never got the chance to head out there for plates of lasagne, risotto and ravioli – all featuring asparagus of course – and local wines and cheese that were featured on the menu. Instead we did one better, sort of, and visited an asparagus farm in Mezzago. Now this is one of the cool things that I love about Italy, where you drive around looking for painted signs on the side of the road that say asparagus, broccoli or whatever sold here. We drove to the end of a skinny dirt lane and marched right up to what amounted to a small office and voila! About a half dozen elderly folk were expertly bundling asparagus according to size. Look closely – one set of stalks is slightly bigger. They’re priced according to quality and size (the straighter and thicker they are, the higher the price), but as it was the end of the season, we paid 10€ for the 2 bundles, totaling to a little over 3 pounds in all. Apart from trimming off the bottom inch or so, it is also advised to peel the stalks with a peeler before cooking as they are rather fibrous.