Monday, April 23, 2007

Asparagus Season

Ok Bloggers and readers...I have been wondering about an issue for some time and I hope someone out there has some answers. Spring is "spargle" season, or asparagus season in Switzerland and I guess most of the western world. TBF and I happen to both enjoy asparagus and tend to eat a lot of it during the official season. In Switzerland both green and white asparagus are readily available and in large quantities. And, the spears also tend to be large. In the US, when you buy asparagus, the spears tend to be rather slim. So, here is what's been bothering me - absence of asparagus pee! Now don't get all embarrassed on me now - you know exactly what I mean. What I have noticed, now that I'm into my seventh asparagus season is that I don't seem to have asparagus pee anymore unless we buy extra slim spears. And the white asparagus have never caused asparagus pee. My theory is that whatever the chemical or enzyme is that causes asparagus pee diminishes the larger or thicker the spear is and is perhaps not present at all in the white variety. Can anyone out there verify this? Or, have I just evolved? I think not since TBF has also admitted to absence of asparagus pee. As an aside, one of the funniest asparagus pees ever was after we fed some to our dear departed Dominique and she went out for a pee and then did a doggy double take and turned back to smell her pee - it was so cute!
Anyway, I hope someone can help me understand this strange phenomenon, or if I'm just strange?


CanadianSwiss said...

Now you also made me curious. I don't tend to react to asparagus either. I guess we'll have to wait for a "scientific" blogger/reader to answer that.

Global Librarian said...

Don't really know. But I can report that GLH still gets asparagus pee, even with the larger and/or white variety.

I never got it, either here or in the US.

Here's a test. Isn't TBF still in Chicago? Get him to eat asparagus and see what happens!

Mrs. TBF said...

CS - One can only hope!
GL - That is exactly what got me wondering about this again because he did eat asparagus Sunday and reported some wicked AP was going on!

Sal DeTraglia said...

Mrs. TBF:

Whether in the US or in Europe, I can honestly say that I've never seen an asparagus pee.

Although given the shape of an asparagus, you'd think that they would be very adept at peeing.


Michael Lehet said...

This is from Wiki:

Some of the constituents of asparagus are metabolised and excreted in the urine, giving it a distinctive, mildly unpleasant odor. The smell is caused by various sulfur-containing degradation products (e.g. thiols and thioesters). Earlier studies concluded that about 40% of the test subjects displayed this characteristic smell, and a similar percentage of people were able to smell the odor once it is produced; whether there is any correlation between production and detection of the smell was unknown.

So apparently it's like twirling your tongue, you either smell the pee or you don't!

I smell the pee : -(

Jul said...

Hmmmmm... I definitely get it here, but I haven't been methodical enough in my analysis to remember if it's true for white and green and all sizes. I'll start a pee diary and let you know my findings. :)

Un-Swiss Miss said...

Oddly enough, I'm the exact opposite of you: I always thought I was one of those lucky ones whose pee didn't smell, until I came to Basel and started eating those enormous white ones!

Mrs. TBF said...

Well, this has just been fascinating!

Sal, I was hoping for an amusing word play from you, and you didn't disappoint. :)
Good research, but still doesn't explain the on again off again smell. Glad to know you can smell it...and don't you just have to smell it again because you can't believe it?
Can't wait to hear the results!
U-S M,
Another phenom - opposite from me.
Thanks to all of you for sharing your bodily fluid differences with me...keep it coming!

Bobby The C said...

I got your asparagus spear RIGHTHERE!

Long live asparagus pee smell!

Colon Blow said...

What I think I smell is a picture of The Medium Swede with an asparagus hanging out of his pants!

The Big Finn said...

I had the most pungent asparagus pee of my life this past weekend after eating Costco asparagus at Colon Blow and Mrs. Colon Blow's house. Also, there was asparagus in my meals going to and from the U.S. on American Airlines. On the way there I had pungent asparagus pee. On the way back: nothing!

Mrs. TBF said...

News Flash - Green asparagus purchased at Geant Casino in France and eaten in Switzerland last night resulted in a fine batch of asparagus pee!!! However, TBF had none. Current theory - I was drinking red wine and he was drinking beer - is there a connection??? At lunch yesterday I ate white asparagus in Gland (French part of Switzerland) which produced asparagus pee while riding back up to Basel on the train. Somewhere between Yverdon les Bains and Neuchatel I flushed it down on the tracks. I only drank water at lunch time. The mystery continues for this on again off again phenomenon. Perhaps certain food combos also mitigate or exacerbate?