I have asparagus fever.
I was surfing the web for asparagus info after reading this thread on Home Cooking
14 Days of Asparagus
I found this article by Harold McGee that is anti-snapping in terms of trimming. It also has a lot of other good general asparagus info, some of which I never knew
Anyway, I stopped snapping years ago because I buy various sizes from super-thin to jumbo. It was the thin asparagus that did me in. It was too much work for me to snap all those spears.
On the other end, with jumbo I find there is too much waste. Snapping works best on medium spears and even then there's a lot of error.
McGee writes "I’ve been a spear-snapper too, but I’m regularly annoyed by fibrous spears among the tender ones, and I have wondered just how reliable snapping is. Over the course of a few weeks, I snapped a total of 130 spears, then steamed them and bit into the wide end. About a third were unpleasantly stringy"
I have to disagree about his method of slicing though ... cutting 6 or 7 inches from the tip.
I cut above the white area. If it is still woody, you can tell by sight and the way it feels when cut ... I cut a bit more. If there is no white area, I just cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the bottom for good measure.
As to the trimmed part, McGee goes through a lot more trouble than I could stand. He cuts them into super thin rounds because then the fiberous part isn't noticible. Well, maybe ... but from a person who is too lazy to snap lots of thin spears, micro-slicing the ends isn't going to happen.
Unfortunately, I've been throwing the ends away. I'm not the type of person to make stock often. However, if you look at the link with recipes ... 14 Days of asparagus ... I found a link in there for artichoke butter which uses the stems ... I might give that a try the next time I buy some asparagus.
As to people who peal the ends ... I never got that. It seems like a lot of work and the end is still stringy.
So are you a snapper, a peeler or a slicer?