Morrisons asparagus costs just a quid - as long as you don't mind it wonky

·2-min read
Morrisons' wonky asparagus
Morrisons' wonky asparagus

Asparagus is usually one of the UK's most expensive vegetables, with bundles of the green spears often selling for several pounds.

But after weird weather led to many shoots coming up wonky, Morrisons has decided to sell them for less. At just £1 for 180g, it will be the cheapest asparagus on the market.

Public happy with 'wonky veg' - if it's cheap enough

Asparagus is an expensive crop because, unlike most veg, it's perennial and needs the same spot year after year. And this year, a warm spring has meant that shoots came up early and twisted around looking for the light.

Changeable temperatures have also meant spears have come up different lengths.

In previous years, farmers might have sent a wonky crop to be processed into other food products, or not even have harvested the crop at all.

But, says Michael Weightman, asparagus buyer at Morrisons: "We've stepped in to buy the crop as we wanted to help growers and put this normally luxury ingredient into the hands of shoppers for just a pound."

Bunch of Ruby Roman grapes sold for £8,350

The wonky version will appear alongside rather straighter spears in purple, white and green varieties, and Morrisons Best Emerald Crest Asparagus Spears - so there's still a choice for those who prefer their spears straighter.

"The warm early spring and temperature fluctuations has resulted in ten to fifteen per cent of our asparagus crop growing wonky this spring," says grower James Dale from Flamingo Produce.

"But it's only their shape which is different. Growing asparagus takes many years of hard work so we're grateful that this part of the crop is being sold on to customers and will not be wasted."

Top tips for saving on food

As more and more of us buy our vegetables from supermarkets, produce has become more standardised, and huge amounts are now thrown away. But all sorts of organisations have been working to change that.

Following a campaign by Jamie Oliver, for example, Asda started trialling wonky veg boxes, and Tesco sells similar produce in store.

And there's no denying that wonky veg can add a little entertainment to cooking. The Ugly Fruit and Veg Facebook page, for example, shares pictures of a Daikon radish that appears to be going for a run; a grumpy potato; and a kiwi fruit that looks like a baby otter. Unfortunately, it's far too cute to eat...

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