More recently, a handful of middle-tier eateries, such as Lark Creek in San Francisco and Mimi’s Cafe, have begun regional seasonal promotions featuring California asparagus, Angulo said.
Not only does that mean more overall sales, but she said it’s exposing people who may want to try asparagus at home.
“We want to make it a more approachable vegetable.”
Jacobs Malcolm & Burtt also views foodservice’s use of asparagus as an opportunity, president Leo Rolandelli said. The San Francisco-based firm showed off a 7-inch spear designed for restaurants at the Produce Merchandising Association’s 2012 Fresh Summit in October.
The shorter spear has virtually no waste and can be grilled or steamed without trimming.
“It’s the way to go, but cost-wise, they don’t see it,” Rolandelli said of foodservice. “They don’t look at what they’re throwing away in the garbage.”