Jose Mathey, Blampin Fruits:

Ornithogalum pyrenaicum: the wild asparagus loved by the British!

Although a member of the asparagaceae family, the only characteristic this ornithogalum pyrenaicum shares with the traditional asparagus is its slender silhouette. This wild plant, well known among the older generation, grows in wooded areas and along rivers.

Blampin Fruits, a wholesaler on the Rungis market, has been selling it for about 20 years. “This plant, which cannot be cultivated, marks the arrival of spring. We started the season about two weeks ago. The plant is relatively sensitive to the weather and needs optimal conditions in order to be able to grow. It cannot be too cold, and if temperatures are too high, it does not hold and cannot be marketed. Therefore, during the marketing campaign that can last over a month, the origins overlap depending on the weather in each region. We sell some from the Jura mountains, the Vosges and other areas in eastern France,” explains Jose Mathey, sales manager of the product. 

In recent years, the sales of this niche product have been increasing. “We are introducing this product in Paris, but in the countryside, the plant is well known. The elders pick it up themselves and usually cook it in an omelet, or it can easily be grilled in a wok, for example. For several years, we have seen an increase in sales, especially among the British who are very good customers for this product.”

Jose Mathey buys the first wild asparagus at 5-6 euros [5.3-6.3 USD] per 200g. “Then, as the season evolves, we usually lose about 1 euro [1.1 USD] per week to end up at the stable price of 1.8-2 euros [1.9-2.1 USD] per bunch of wild asparagus.”

For more information:
Jose Mathey
Blampin Fruits
Phone: 01 45 12 90 90

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