Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
When it comes to vegetables, asparagus is a strange one. First off, it can grow up to seven inches per day in good weather, which means we should be glad farmers harvest it, or else asparagus would soon take over the world. Second, well, as Pierre Larousse put it in his Grand Dictionnaire Universel, “Tout le monde connaı̂t l'odeur fétide qu'elle communique àl'urine.” You don’t have to speak French to know what he’s talking about. And third, asparagus messes with wine.
Scorpacciata is a term that means consuming large amounts of a particular local ingredient while it's in season. It's a good way to eat.
While summer's sumptuous heirloom tomatoes and versatile, velvety okra are undeniably wonderful, spring's unique bounty feeds my senses and my soul. After a season of hearty, dense, nourishing and occasionally dull root vegetables, the earth is coming to life again in a riot of color and flavor. Might as well celebrate over dinner.