French novelist Marcel Proust famously wrote that asparagus “transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.” As somewhat of a nutrition nut, I’ve always found the body’s by-products somewhat fascinating. During digestion, asparagus’s sulfurous amino acids break down into unique pungent chemical compounds in most people. When the compounds leave your body in the form of pee you may be able to detect the odorous asparagus smell. Apparently only about a quarter of the population has the special gene that allows them to detect those compounds. So whether you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to have this ability it’s still pretty interesting right?
Typically when I dream up canning and pickling recipes I try to stick with local and in season ingredients. I have been anxiously checking the crop harvest calendars for my current and future location so I know that this recipe is pre-mature by about 3-6 weeks. When I found these hearty bunches of organic asparagus during my routine farmers market/local food co-op pickling perusal last weekend, I knew I couldn’t hold out any longer. This super small batch of pepper & garlic pickled asparagus was adapted from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s canning book Put ‘em Up!