When you eat asparagus, it produces the same compounds that give skunks their *lovely* aroma
Whether you dip them in a boiled egg, shred them to ribbons or tie them to a prawn, we all know that asparagus spears make everything look (and taste) that little bit more elegant.
Another thing the springtime spears are known for is making your wee smell interesting ...
Why do they do that, we hear you cry? Well, a new video from YouTube channel SciShow says it is because the green veg contain asparaguisic acid – a chemical not found in other vegetables.
They claim that when this is digested it produces substances such as methanethiol and compounds of sulphur (which gives skunk's spray and rotten eggs their lovely smell) and, as the body can’t break these down, they have to go somewhere. And that somewhere is your urine.
However, this isn’t the case for every asparagus-eater, oh no. Studies in Israel revealed that this is because some people simply can’t smell the scent of methanethiol while others found that others just don’t excrete the chemicals – but no one knows where they go. Spooky.
Who knew there were sooo many studies into the science of asparagus wee? Watch the video in full below.
Those other burning asparagus questions answered
What does asparagus taste like?
Asparagus is like sexy broccoli; it's fresh, crisp and green, with tender tips and a slightly more woody stem. It's got a light flavour, so it won't overpower other veg on the plate. It's also naturally sweet, with a little bitterness – some even say it's an aphrodisiac.
When is asparagus in season?
Traditionally the season starts on St George's Day, 23 April, and ends on midsummer day in June, which means asparagus happily coincides with spring in Britain.
How do you cook asparagus?
We like to plunge asparagus into boiling salted water for one minute, before removing with tongs and frying with a little olive oil on a hot griddle pan until flecked golden brown.
What are the different types of asparagus?
- Green asparagus – most common and sold in the supermarket. At its best when in season, of course.
- Asparagus sprue – looks identical to green asparagus, only skinny.
- White asparagus – deprived of light when they emerge from the ground, these pale little beauties are sweeter and creamier than their green counterparts.