Asparagus
When selecting asparagus in the stores lookfor spears that have tightly furled tips & firm stalks. Ideal asparagus will be bright green from tip all the way down. At times due to growing conditions, weather, and other acts of Mother Nature, the bottoms of the shoots will be white and woody. This comes with the cream. You can cut them off at home or using a vegetable peeler you can whittle it down to reveal the tender, tasty edible core.

Stay away from flabby grass. Lift the rubber band to see if it has indented into the spears. If it has then they are aged. Other signs of age would be shriveled or slimy stalk ends a sign that it has completely lost its flavor. If there is any indication of slime or unpleasant odor on the tips, stay away from it. Bring it to the attention of your produce clerk or manager so they can remove it from the stand. Finally, gently squeeze, and I mean gently, squeeze the stalk end of the bunch. If it squeaks it is fresh.