The Stems We

These are plants whose food storage site—or whose part we prefer to harvest—is a fleshy stem. There are 3 types of fleshy-stemmed plants. One is the new-growth spears: asparagus, hops (see Chapter 5), and young globe artichoke spears. A second is the edible stems, called "chards" or "stalks": cardoon, celery, celtuce, and rhubarb. The third type is plants that develop a rootlike bulge in their stem and store food there in something that looks somewhat like an aboveground root: celeriac and Florence fennel.

If there is below-ground stem storage, as with water chestnut and lotus, that's called a "corm"; I've listed corms in the section on roots and tubers. The onions certainly store food in their stems, but they're in their own section ("Alliums").

Continue reading here: Asparagus

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