That’s right, folks—it’s the event that signals that spring has officially sprung. It’s the Stockton Asparagus Festival, happening April 15 to 17, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. High-tail it to Asparagus Alley, where last year, they served 36,000 pounds of asparagus burritos, sandwiches and deep-fried in batter.
When I went several years ago, I tried an asparagus daiquiri (or was it a margarita?). In any case, it was better than you’d think. California is the top state for asparagus production, and the limited season is now upon us.
Last year, I visited the Capay Organic farm in Capay Valley, and they said that during peak growing, they harvest the asparagus up to three times a day because it grows so fast. We picked some pencil-thin spears, and they were the sweetest I’ve ever had.
You can visit them yourself, every second Saturday through October (www.farmfreshtoyou.com). And don’t forget to look for local spears at the farmers markets. They’re perfect for grilling, wrapped in prosciutto, or just drizzled with olive oil and lemon zest.