Harvesting, Foraging Wild Asparagus in Inner Deep Mani
Spring in Mani is fascinatinating. its plethora of herbs and wild plants flourish filling the rocky mountains with colours and aromas. For the ones that know the benefits of foraging and eating wild, pure species from our mother nature and particurally from remote unspoiled Deep Inner Mani this is an invaluable treasure.
In my opinion one of the most cherished products is Mani's wild asparagus. The best part is that someone can harvest them while spending quality time hiking the lands of Mani and enjoying the scenery. This was the case of our last hiking tour at the mountains of Saggia, Taygetos over Vamvaka village where we harvested a beautiful bouquet of wild asparagus.
Of course you can buy cultivated asparagus which grows in controlled area,as product of massive agriculture. Cultvated asparagus is thicker with a more pale green colour and, trust me, much more tasteless. A simple egg omelet with wild asparagus and some lemon juice is by far the most delicious yet nutritious plate you can taste. Asparagus can be eaten also raw. It has a lot of water, fibers and strong taste.
The official name in Greek is Σπαράγγι το φαρμακευτικό, meaning asparagus the pharmaceutical due to its properties. It is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.
You can find them competing stone fences for which is taller.......
............ or even olive trees!!!! In this photo the wild asparagus is over one meter high!
...... between the bushes
and in Mani next to 10th century Byzantine churches