Waitrose is the first national supermarket to sell Scottish asparagus in branches across Scotland.
The Gijnlim variety of asparagus has been grown by James Brunton in Angus, exclusively for Waitrose.
His family has been growing potatoes for three generations and this is his first-ever asparagus crop and the first time that the vegetable has been grown commercially – at scale – for sale in supermarkets in Scotland.
Angus is particularly well suited to growing asparagus because of its soil and climate; it has slightly lower than average rainfall, long daylight hours over the summer and hardly any frost throughout the year.
The plants can take three years to really fill in and mature; while a commercial crop can be productive for five to seven years, a domestic crop can last for up to 20 years.
Asparagus sales at Waitrose have risen by almost 20 per cent in the last three months with the supermarket putting its increasing popularity down to its versatility and health benefits.
It adds a distinct flavour to a wide variety of dishes; it can be served boiled, steamed, grilled or roasted with a little bit of olive oil and makes a great addition to a salad when barbecued.
Asparagus is also a rich source of vitamin C and contains vitamin K. The Asparagus Grower’s Association states that this hero vegetable is also mildly diuretic and is believed to help detoxify the body.
Gary Grace, fresh produce buyer for Waitrose, said: “Growing Scottish asparagus is a labour of love. Each spear is harvested by hand when it reaches just the right height. We’re very excited about our collaboration with Scotty Brand which has made it possible for James Brunton to provide our Scottish customers with Scottish asparagus for the first time.”
Michael Jarvis, Head of Marketing at Scotty Brand, commented: “We are delighted to have partnered with Waitrose and with the Brunton family to offer asparagus to the Scottish shopper. It is a delicious and nutritious vegetable which is low on food miles and high on taste and is an excellent addition to our range of Scottish foods.”