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Contrary to popular belief, older asparagus is not what causes larger stalks and larger stalks are not tougher than thin stalks. The size of the stalk is determined by the variety of asparagus. As cited in this article in the NYTimes , asparagus will start to get tough immediately upon cutting. It starts to toughen at the bottom and continues up the stalk. ...


Usually stringiness is caused by not peeling them enough. Internal stringiness might be caused by overcooking the asparagus (assuming the asparagus is otherwise fine, and not woody). I only cook them for around 8 minutes in boiling water, then take them of the heat, and let them rest in the water for another 8 minutes.

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