Asparagus Ice Cream in Stockton

The spear-laden lark loves on the point-tipped vegetable.

THE MARCH OF THE VEGE FESTS: Springtime is definitely about those sweet, oh-so-moist breezes, and tiny pink flowers popping up on things you had no idea even produced flowers, much less tiny and pink, and all of those coo-able baby animals, too. But for Californians who are obsessed with the produce section of their grocery store, the arrival of the equinox means that all of those yummy vegetable and fruit festivals around the state are going to rev up in high 'n healthy gear. Like wine parties in the fall, and rich dessert-y doings around the holidays, the leafy icons of the farmers market hold sway come April and May. And, yes, right into July, when that delicious doyen of Golden State festivals makes its Gilroy stand (hint: It's garlic). If you're a greenist, and all about springtime suppers based around what's growing well, then you're likely more than a little enamored with asparagus. Perhaps you even chew upon the woodsier tougher ends? They can take their knocks, on the gnawability scale, but even asparagus ends, too, have their devoted fans. Whether you like the tree-like tippy tops, or the soft, dip-it-in-butter middle, the asparagus is the spotlight food each April in Stockton at the...

SAN JOAQUIN ASPARAGUS FESTIVAL: The three-day party -- the 2016 dates are April 15, 16, and 17 -- has a ride-filled, carnival-y atmosphere, but the midway's brightness only accentuates the array of asparagus-themed eats to be found around the grounds. While you may generally eat your spears speckled in almonds, or dipped in mayo, prepare for a rainbow of different, delectable choices. Asparagus ice cream? Yep, that's famously one item that's for sale, and yay to that: California's vege fests are known for serving up sweets based on the star vegetable (see: garlic ice cream in Gilroy). But there are savory spear-centered choices, too, like deep-fried asparagus, asparagus corn dogs, asparagus nachos, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and a host of burritos with some aparagus goodness hidden within. Chef demos lend more piquancy to the plate party, if you're looking to burnish those kitchen skills (or simply wile away part of an hour, happily, while munching on asparagus chili cheese fries). Are you a vege buff? Are you happy spring is here, with its veritable cornucopia of produce-themed parties around the state? Then raise your spear high and wave it, before dipping it in the sauce of your choice and munching away.

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