Casting Aspersions on My Asparagus* – Part 1
I don’t think asparagus is smelly. But some people do. I don’t think asparagus is winy. But some people do. I don’t think asparagus is sexy. But some people do.
Taking a whiff of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, you might be able to detect the smell of asparagus; not such a bad thing – perhaps just the match your host needs to complement the vegetable and avoid the not uncommon problem of asparagus making the wine taste metallic and harsh. For the guest, riskier as an aftermath if you’re one of those genetically disposed bods: stinking out your host’s loo with something akin to the stench of cat’s pee.
Mark Twain, in response to his obituary being mistakenly published, said “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”; Coopers Creek vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc’s similarities to cat’s pee have also been greatly exaggerated – to such an extent that they used to call their Sav ‘Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush’. It was a popular drop. A discontinued label now I believe – perhaps because when they used to export it to America they had to change the name to the patently ridiculous ‘Cat’s Phee on a Gooseberry Bush’!
Not so much fun to slip into a conversation now that you can’t get it anymore. Some years ago, we were part of a local wine group, and I’d scrawl “cat’s pee” in the tasting notes whenever we gave the thumbs down to a Sav. ‘Gooseberry Bush’ tones down the label of course – unless you don’t like gooseberries! There’s nothing toned down about these alternatives I dreamed up just for the fun of it: ‘Cat’s Pee on a Carpet’; ‘Cat’s Pee in a Sandpit’; ‘Cat’s Pee in a Litter Box’.
‘Cat’s Pee on Your Bed’? I can vividly recall the time a pet cat pissed on our bed. A warm evening, we were relaxing out on the verandah. Our bedroom is in a different room now, but back then you could see into it from the verandah. There was our cat staring at us as it came to the end of a wee – smack in the middle of our bed. Soaked through all the covers and into the mattress. How could a small cat hold that much pee in its bladder! Took days to get rid of the stench. By rights, no half-decent wine should ever deserve to be described as cat’s pee.
But savouring a raw gooseberry aroma and taste is something else altogether, and one way of guessing that you’ve got your hand wrapped around a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Combine that with the aroma of fresh cut grass, an acidic tang, good company, and a summer day’s al fresco spread – sheer bliss.
So, with that swirl dominating your senses, your quivering nose and titillated taste buds are hardly likely to pick up a whiff of cat’s pee. Be in a happier place, and content yourself with trying to detect fresh or boiled asparagus; the smell of asparagus before it’s passed through your gut and made your pee stink like something that’s been pissed out by a skunk or a cat.
In truth, not all of us can detect the urine stench created by the sulphurous byproducts your gut produces after eating asparagus. It must be embarrassing for those who do. I can’t detect anything out of the ordinary, but June will catch herself wondering “what’s that disgusting smell” and then remembering that she ate asparagus earlier in the day. Something to do with your genes.**
Talking about it being in your genes and in your jeans, both men and women have been known to let erotic thoughts enter their heads when taking a voyeuristic peek at asparagus. During the Renaissance it enjoyed its own renaissance as an aphrodisiac. Well, it does have certain phallic attributes – so much so that it used to be banned from nunneries.
As you can well imagine, this Newsweek cover stirred up quite a hornet’s nest!
And here’s a contemporary description of asparagus I came across recently:
I love a good, imaginative metaphor. …
… the most sexy vegetable of all [is] asparagus.
Okay, okay. So, you might not be getting visions of Victoria Secret Angels when you look at a bunch of asparagus. But, if you saw how it grows you might begin to think more steamy thoughts.
An asparagus shoot emerges from the ground looking like a rounded nosed … hmm … snake. The shoot rises from the ground, growing incredibly quickly and … umm … erect.
… there is nothing more exciting than asparagus because it marks the start of the growing season. …
But, then it’s gone.
Replaced by the runway show of slinky, spicy, voluptuous vegetables throughout the summer and into the fall.
Making us lust for its sexy, skimpy season again as winter turns to spring next year.
– an excerpt from a blog post by Claire Trost: Eating Seasonally: Sexy Asparagus
The “sexy, skimpy season” in our bed is almost over. I’ll tell you about the asparagus season that was in next Monday’s post.
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday’s Casting Aspersions on my Asparagus – Part 2. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.