The Curious Cook, Harold McGee, has now studied whether asparagus-snapping is the best way to avoid this vegetable’s tough parts, and you can read his conclusions here . We were just having a discussion about this issue in our kitchen last week. My own style of trimming is sort of a variation on Harold’s. But I’ll tell you about that, maybe, next spring when I have more and fresher of the stalks to photograph. In the meantime, there is much fascinating and useful information to be had from the short article.
I haven’t made very much use of the two books by McGee that I invested in many years ago. But I am grateful to him for applying scientific research to our common kitchen tasks. I did learn–and remember– that if you happen to have a copper bowl around, you will get more volume to your egg whites if you beat them in it, because of a chemical reaction that happens. And it’s o.k. to wash mushrooms, because even sitting in a bowl of water, they hardly absorb any (he weighed them before and after) and don’t get soggy.
Recently I subscribed to his blog, but it isn’t very busy. And just taking his books off the shelf and leafing through them makes me think that if I put in a little time with them, I might be able to learn more for use in my current culinary phase.