Cut-price wonky asparagus is to go on sale at a major supermarket chain after fluctuating temperatures made the vegetable grow with crooked stems.
Asparagus is one of Britain's most expensive vegetables but a wonky variety will retail at a record low price of £1.
This year a warm early spring has also encouraged asparagus shoots to push up early.
As shoots track the sun round the sky – and early spring sun levels are low - it has caused some of the crop to grow into a wonky shape.
A combination of changeable hot and cold spring temperatures has also resulted in shorter and longer spears. Asparagus is normally sold for £1.75 for a bundle and is prized for its perfect upright spear.
Morrisons Wonky Asparagus will be sold at just £1 for a 180g bag, making it the cheapest asparagus on the market. An earlier attempt by Morrisons to sell wonky courgettes was branded “pathetic” by the chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in his War on Waste TV programme.
Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose also have wonky vegetable lines which are sold for cheaper prices than "perfect" vegetables.
Michael Weightman, Asparagus Buyer at Morrisons said: “We’ve stepped in to buy the crop as we wanted to help growers and put this normally luxury ingredient into the hands of shoppers for just a pound.”
James Dale from asparagus supplier Flamingo Produce said: “The warm early spring and temperature fluctuations has resulted in ten to fifteen per cent of our asparagus crop growing wonky this spring. But it’s only their shape which is different. Growing asparagus takes many years of hard work so we’re grateful that this part of the crop is being sold on to customers and will not be wasted.”
In addition English asparagus has also gone on sale more than three weeks earlier than usual at Tesco stores, hitting stores at the end of March.