White asparagus are grown from the same seeds as the green.
The color difference comes from mounds of dirt that are piled
around the white as they grow, keeping sunlight out and stopping
the production of chlorophyll. The season usually begins in
April and ends by June. Asparagus have been cultivated for
centuries, with the oldest cookbook on record including a
way to cook the ingredient.
Throughout Chef Besh’s five-course tasting menu he
highlights the mild and sometimes nutty taste of white asparagus,
including dessert. Marrying the flavor of the asparagus with
the other flavors on the plate is critical for this type of
menu. Too much asparagus in each course can tire the palate,
but just enough lends the courses a subtle continuity that
helps the flavors build upon one another.