The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat asparagus. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest.


What asparagus etiquette is

Asparagus etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat asparagus. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow asparagus etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect asparagus etiquette rules to properly eat it and enjoy it.

What you should know about asparagus

Asparagus is a vegetable. It is usually green in color. However, it can grow white thanks to some cultivation techniques. Asparagus shoots are sold by the bundle.

How To Serve And Eat Asparagus: The Top 6 Etiquette rules

Etiquette rules to serve and eat asparagus

1) How to store asparagus

It is best to eat asparagus the same day you buy them. 

Store asparagus in the fridge. Trim the lower end of the spear. Place asparagus in a jar full of water, and cover it with plastic. Alternatively, wrap asparagus in kitchen paper and place them in a paper bag. Do not wrap them in plastic or aluminum foil.

In the fridge, asparagus last for 3 to 5 days. Do not keep them longer.

You can store asparagus in the freezer. They should last for 3 or 4 months.

2) How to clean asparagus

To clean asparagus, wash their spears in cold water. Place them on a towel or on kitchen paper to dry them.

3) How to cook asparagus

Asparagus has a tough texture, so it is not recommended to eat them raw. You can cook them in various methods. Boil, steam, grill, fry or deep-fry, or roast in the oven.

Asparagus is ideal in soup or pasta recipes. You can cook it in stews, or bake it in flans or quiches.

4) How to serve & present asparagus

Asparagus is recommended as an appetizer, or as a side dish. Serve them on a serving platter. You can separately serve olive oil, a vinaigrette, or a sauce to dip asparagus in.

5) Food and wine to pair asparagus with

Asparagus goes well with olive oil, or with dairy products. Butter, cheese, cream, or dairy-based sauces.

As a side dish, pair asparagus with eggs, salmon, shrimp, white fish, chicken, or beef. It goes well with pork meat and charcuterie too. Such as ham, Prosciutto Crudo or Cotto, or bacon.

The best vegetables to combine asparagus with are potatoes, spinach, and peas.

Asparagus pairs best with white wine. Suggestions include Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, unoaked Chardonnay, Riesling, Gew├╝rztraminer, or Champagne.

6) How to eat asparagus

Eat asparagus with your fingers. Pick it up from its larger end, not from the spear.

Eat asparagus with cutlery if it is served with sauce, melted cheese, or as an accompaniment to a dish. 

Do not eat the larger and tougher end of the asparagus. Discard it and leave it on a side of your plate.

asparagus etiquette mistakes

Asparagus etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst asparagus etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Serving spoiled asparagus.
  • 7/10. Picking asparagus from the wrong end.
  • 6/10. Pairing asparagus with the wrong flavors.
  • 4/10. Serving asparagus without a dip or sauce.

Additional information for properly serving asparagus

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

Asparagus contains 20 calories per 100 grams. A medium-sized spear contains about 4 calories. A normal serving per person is 6 spears, which contain 25 calories. 

How to buy the best asparagus

A crucial factor in asparagus etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

The season for asparagus is early spring. It ends by mid-June.

Choose the best

Good asparagus spears must be firm and straight. The thickness and thinness of the asparagus are not an indication of the texture.

Alternatives to asparagus

Asparagus has a very distinctive flavor and texture. There is no appropriate substitute for it.


Should I trim asparagus? It is best not to trim asparagus. Serve it whole, as longer stems make asparagus more elegant. 

What part of asparagus do you not eat? Do not eat the raw stalks, which are the bottom part of the stem. 

What can I do with asparagus leftovers? You can eat asparagus leftovers. It is best to reheat or grill them first. Do not keep asparagus longer than 3 to 5 days after when you bought them.

What can I do with asparagus stalk leftovers? You can cook asparagus stalks. Use them as an ingredient in a recipe, such as a quiche.