a fistful of phalli….a posy of violettes..


This is a good example of a gratuitous food shot: a waste of time and space,,,but quite funny. In a recent post I wrote disparagingly of white asparagus; those fat, firm, and pallid phalli which serve to testify that however much size may matter, it still may not taste very good. When I tapped out that particular tirade I had forgotten about their slightly more obscene pink tipped cousins, known as “violettes, a large bunch of which we received as a gift from good friends when they came to lunch at the weekend. These delicately coloured spears exude promise. They are like perfectly formed breasts; supremely desirable and unbearably tempting yet, in the end, so limiting in what can be done with them….such is the way with asparagus. Forget thoughts of covering them in cream or putting them in decoratively crimped pastry, for in that direction lies only disappointment. That which they do need is loving care. Hold each stem at both ends and gently bend it until it breaks, discarding the root end. The remaining stem must then be gently pared to remove the thick outer skin.


I have an asparagus cooker which I never regret buying even though I rarely cook asparagus, although this may now change owing to my new found relationship with Violet. Put the basket of prepared asparagus into the asparagus cooker which has been filled with cold water to a level just below the tips of the spears. Cover and bring the water to the boil. The spears will be cooked in about 20 minutes, which seems a long time but in my experience it’s what they need. Serve them cold with a good mayonnaise or warm with a sauce made from crushed hard boiled egg yolks, salt, pepper and olive oil. The latter is fantastic and once tried will not be forgotten. Strawberries are very good as pudding and have the same sexual overtones that suit asparagus very well. For some reason I thought that this beautifully pale asparagus would not cause the infamous asparagus pee…..I was wrong.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2015, asparagus, Cooking, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, Eggs, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Fruit, Hard boiled eggs, Olive oil, Photography, sea salt, strawberries, summer, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to a fistful of phalli….a posy of violettes..

  1. datewithaplate says:

    Beautiful photos on this post – I absolutely adore them.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    I’ve never had the violettes or their white cousins, but I’m very glad the green ones are back in Britain 😉

  3. cheergerm says:

    ‘A fistful of phalli’, now there’s a phrase I never thought I would read. Love a bit of alliteration, have never seen that fancy violet asparagus round these here parts…

  4. None of your shots are ever a waste of time or space Roger….

  5. The crunch of the violettes is still more appealing to me than the huge white asparagus of German spring cooking, and I imagine they would be even more so with that sauce of yours, Roger.

  6. Asparagus pee is my friend. 🙂 I could eat asparagus every day.

  7. Sue says:

    Hoho…your new affair with Violette!

  8. ardysez says:

    Gorgeous photos, amazing asparagus! I love being inspired to take photos and to eat when the subject is as beautiful and edible as this. Win, win. Not that I will ever get the chance to eat ‘violettes’ but hope springs eternal, purines be damned! —spell check changed the aforementioned to ‘violates’ 🙂

  9. Very nice my friend. No escape from the asparagus pee eh? 🙂

  10. Eha says:

    Seem to be odd [hardly new, Sarah Miles and I seem to come from the same brood !!?] but eat asparagus both. or should I say all, colours with no aromatic changes . . . actually have to say another ‘thank you’ for yet another journey to Mr Google . . . interesting and informative 🙂 !! Sarah Miles long remembered but not for the ruddy asparagus!!!

  11. vyvacious says:

    Haha I think this is my favorite blog post so far!! Twas giggling the whole time 😛

  12. Beautifully obscene. Just gorgeous photography.

  13. Fantastic colors! I have never seen this type of asparagus, just the green, purple and white variety. The color is so delicate and absolutely alluring. Your stories always give me a chuckle and a bit of knowledge which is a great combo!

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