I have made a startling discovery.
Okay, it’s Kevin who made it, but I think our being the proverbial one flesh entitles me to take credit for his discoveries.
It all started when Al and Christl went out of town.
Starving regulars will know that Al and Christl are gardeners. Excellent gardeners. I’ve been on the receiving end of their produce, their advice, and their tomato seedlings, which Christl grows for me every year in return for clams, oysters, and smoked bluefish.
In addition to tomatoes, squash, strawberries, beans, lettuce, rhubarb, leeks, and herbs, Al and Christl grow asparagus. They have a huge patch of the purple passion variety, which yields pounds and pounds of the stuff from mid-May to mid-June.
So there’s no accounting for Al and Christl’s decision to go to England, to visit their son, from mid-May to mid-June.
While they’re gone, I’m babysitting their tomato seedlings (which, I’m happy to report, are thriving in our hoophouse). In return, I have permission to raid the asparagus patch, which I’ve done every few days.
The asparagus is amazingly good. The spears are thick – some almost as big around as my wrist – but tender all the way to the base. The flesh is tender enough that you can eat it raw, and it gets melty and luscious when you cook it.
But that’s not the discovery. This is the discovery:
Drumroll, please …
Purple asparagus doesn’t make your pee smell!
Surprisingly, the mechanism by which regular green asparagus does make your pee smell isn’t well understood. There are a number of suspected chemical culprits, but the research (yes, there is research) has been inconclusive. The issue is complicated by the fact that some people pee very smelly pee, and some people pee not-so-smelly pee. Just to make it harder, there seems to be some 6% of the population that can’t smell the asparagus pee smell at all.
I’ve never minded the asparagus pee phenomenon, which may explain why I didn’t notice that the purple asparagus didn’t produce it. But Kevin did.
There you have it. You heard it here first (or, if you heard it somewhere else, you’ll have the good grace not to mention it). Purple asparagus doesn’t make your pee smell.