Navarra
Asparagus

Asparagus from Navarra is a Protected Geographical Indication that began in 1986 with the aim of promoting and safeguarding the white asparagus produced in the protected area. The asparagus covered by the Protected Geographical Indication “Espárrago de Navarra” is white in color, smooth in texture, with little or no fibrousness. The perfect balance in the softness of its bitterness on the palate is due to the cold nights in the production area, the quality of the water and the farming systems used to obtain it.

Region covered

Asparagus is one of the emblematic products of La Ribera del Ebro, a unique and fertile natural pantry. On the banks of the river sit the Communities of Navarra, Aragon and La Rioja, which comprise the production area of Navarra Asparagus as covered by the PGI. The area stands out for its temperate Mediterranean climate and a landscape dotted with hills and small mountain ranges. The protected area currently includes 43 municipalities in Aragon, 38 in La Rioja and 176 in Navarra.

Characteristics

The Navarra Asparagus is a perennial plant with a productive life of six to eight years. It has a very powerful root system formed by a group of main roots which sprout horizontally and from which secondary rootlets grow. 

Together, the roots and buds are known as crowns and these are planted out in February, placing them at the bottom of a furrow and then covering them with earth. The stems sprout in spring and the plant accumulates reserves in its roots during spring and summer in order to sprout vigorously the following year. In winter, the plants are cut and work to prepare the land is carried out.

Production

Primer año espárrago de Navarra

First year

Together, the roots and buds are known as crowns and these are planted out in February, placing them at the bottom of a furrow and then covering them with earth. The stems sprout in spring and the plant accumulates reserves in its roots during spring and summer in order to sprout vigorously the following year. In winter, the plants are cut and work to prepare the land is carried out.

Segundo año espárrago de Navarra

Second year

The necessary work is carried out in March of the second year before the plants start to sprout: the remains of the external plant, which are now dry, are cut and the earth is ridged, piling it on the line of plants to form mounds to prevent contact with the light and harvest the asparagus spears as they grow. The asparagus spears are harvested daily until, once the campaign is over, in June, the external plants are allowed to sprout again so that they can develop and accumulate reserves for the next campaign.

Cultivo Espárrago de Navarra

Harvesting

The asparagus spears are harvested daily until, once the campaign is over, in June, the external plants are allowed to sprout again so that they can develop and accumulate reserves for the next campaign. 

Sale

Navarre asparagus is marketed fresh and preserved, a format that does not require any culinary treatment and that allows us to enjoy this delicacy all year round.

Preserved

Espárrago de Navarra en conserva

They are easy to recognise because they always bear the numbered back label which assures that they are ‘Espárrago de Navarra’.

Fresh

Espárrago de Navarra fresco

En cualquier caso los reconocerás porque siempre llevan la contra etiqueta numerada que nos asegura que es espárrago de Navarra

Preparation and serving suggestions

How do you peel them?

Hold the asparagus spear by the tip and peel from top to bottom with a potato peeler or kitchen knife, taking care not to touch the tip and turning the spear to peel the entire perimeter evenly. Finally, cut the end of the stem and wash them with cold water.

How do you cook them?

Put water in a deep saucepan and, when it starts to boil, add salt and then the asparagus gradually, taking care not to bring down the boil. Boil for about ten minutes until they are tender; it’s a good idea to prick them to cook them perfectly.

Once cooked and drained, add a drizzle of Navarra extra virgin olive oil and eat the spears while still warm to fully appreciate their flavour.

Consejos de consumo Espárrago de Navarra

History

The Navarra Asparagus Specific Designation was approved by Regional Order of the Government of Navarra’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry on 6 October 1986 and ratified by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1987.

The great socio-economic importance of growing asparagus was decisive back then and constituted the basis for the development of the canning industry in the Ebro Valley in the 1980s.

Contact

IGP Espárrago de Navarra

This industrial boom led to the specialisation of farm production and processing of the product, which resulted in the Specific Designation and its Regulatory Council in order to guarantee and defend Navarra asparagus against competition from other production areas.

From the beginning, it was thought that the Designation should cover areas of Navarra, La Rioja and Aragon due to the similar characteristics of the product and the conditions of the environment, but legal-administrative problems meant that this did not become a reality until 1993, the year in which the entry of certain municipalities belonging to the Communities of Aragon and La Rioja was approved. Currently, 176 (plus Bardenas) Navarra, 43 Aragon and 38 Rioja municipalities are covered by the Designation.

Finally, in 2003, the Rules were amended once again to extend the production area and modify the approved varieties. EU legislation was also adapted and the Specific Designation was registered as a Protected Geographical Indication in the EU Register by Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1107/96 of 12 June.

Certification

All the processes involved in the growing, processing, canning/jarring and labelling of the end product are audited by INTIA, Instituto Navarro de Tecnologías e Infraestructuras Agroalimentarias, S.A., the control body of the PGI in charge of ensuring that the certified product meets the requirements required by the Specifications. 

INTIA is accredited by ENAC (National Accreditation Body) according to the European Standard UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17065:2012.

The certification system employed is based on:

Control in the field
Control of stockists
Control in factories
Finished product quality control

Navarra Asparagus

Only the asparagus covered by the Navarra Asparagus PGI is allowed to bear the name ‘DE NAVARRA’. And only the asparagus covered is allowed to proudly display the logo and numbered back label provided by the Regulatory Council. 

The product also bears the European Designation of Origin logo to show it is included in the EU register and may have the Reyno Gourmet label, which can be placed together with the other labels or on a different part of the packaging.

To identify Navarra asparagus, look for the ‘Espárrago de Navarra’ PGI logo and back label, and the European label, always placed in a clearly visible place.

The label should also indicate whether the asparagus was grown in Aragon, Navarra or La Rioja; the list of ingredients: asparagus, water and salt; the net weight and drained weight; the number of spears; and the best before date.


Preserved

Fresh

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