Arrival of asparagus means French spring is here

Good weather for producers means the season's first asparagus are hitting the market

Published Last updated

Bundles of thick green asparagus are appearing at markets around France, signifying that spring has well and truly arrived.

The Taton family in Cabannes, Bouches-du-Rhône, have been producing asparagus since 1906 and grower Vincent says this year’s crop is a good one. They are "very beautiful this year, of very good calibre,” he said. “With well-closed tips and a good length.”

The weather has been kind to him and winter brought everything he needed: cold in January, heat in February and now the sun just in time for the first harvests.

An asparagus and cherry specialist, Vincent produces nearly 60 tons of asperges a year and says the key is to move quickly after picking so the product arrives very fresh in the markets.

“We try to pick them before noon to keep the freshness of the morning, and tonight they are in a truck, they are gone," he said.

On sale at Toulouse market at €6.50 a bundle and up to €18/kg, asparagus is still a little expensive, but prices will fall before long as volumes increase.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Here are two delicious asparagus recipes to try:

Oeufs en cocotte aux asperges Eggs ‘en cocotte’ with asparagus

Prep: 5min / Cooking: 15min


4 eggs

40cl liquid crème fraiche

1 bundle of green asparagus

Salt and pepper



Crack eggs into four small, oven-proof ramekins

Add two dessert spoons of liquid crème fraîche into each

Lay two pre-cooked (steamed) asparagus tips into each ramekin

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 180C

Green asparagus velouté

Prep time: 20min / Cooking: 30min


1kg green asparagus

75cl milk

1 dessert spoon of flour

30g butter

2 to 3 dessert spoons of crème fraiche

Salt and pepper

A few sprigs of chervil


Peel asparagus and cook for 15 minutes in boiling salted water.

Drain and keep 12 tips for decoration

Prepare a béchamel sauce: melt butter in pan, add flour, stir then add salt and 25cl of the milk. Stir until it thickens.

Blend asparagus then add this to the béchamel, and add the rest of the milk. Put on a low heat until the velouté is well warmed through, then add the crème fraiche, season and serve.

Decorate with the asparagus tips and chervil leaves.