Elmar Grothues, who with his siblings oversees a 14-generation-old family farm, takes me to a newly planted field. I eat it grilled, served with poached quails’ eggs and dots of bright green moss mayonnaise. Green and purple asparagus is available, but most only buy the white, claiming that it's the most flavorful. Therefore, no photosynthesis occurs, keeping the stalks from turning green. Documentarily it is indicated that the roots of German asparagus were found somewhere around Stuttgart, where it has been raised since the 1500s. In Germany, white asparagus (weißer spargel) is celebrated (literally) with festivals from April to June. Asparagus Season in Germany. If you think that spargel isn't worth a trip to Lower Saxony or, for example, the highly-mentioned Baden-Wurttemberg (two most famous asparagus growing regions), millions of Germans will strongly disagree with you. Hof Grothues-Potthoff: This quiet boutique hotel offers stylish, comfortable rooms, a small sauna, and friendly staff. I don’t have anything against asparagus in general. “It’s satisfying, and the money’s much better than repairing computers back home,” he says. The annual asparagus harvest is a source of great local pride, and I find only one vendor indifferent to it: “I grew up with two white asparagus addicts for parents,” she says. She replicated her mother’s traditional recipe for boiled white asparagus accompanied with ham, parsley and boiled potatoes. Welcome the springtime with the first German spring vegetable. Long, thick spears of white asparagus grown under mounds of earth and served up with butter and ham. During Spargelzeit—’asparagus time’, which starts sometime in April but ends exactly on June 24th—Germans eat their way through 125,000 tonnes (138,000 tons) of the stuff, half of which is bought at roadside stands or in markets. White asparagus, or Spargel, is in season for the next three months and the next three months ONLY, you see, and when short-seasonal produce is in season, the German-speaking lands of Europe are Santa Cruz circa 1982 and the produce is the Grateful Dead. In the UK, it is estimated that the asparagus harvest season can begin as early as mid-February and continue into late autumn by growing cold-resistant cultivars under heated polytunnels. It takes three years for an asparagus plant to produce its first tip. Every good restaurant always sells a few white asparagus dishes. Peel outer layer of white asparagus, align spear tips and slice off ends of the white asparagus to form spears of equal length. Many farms now open a restaurant in the harvest season, serving white asparagus dishes in the sunshine, right where it’s grown. Adhering to the farmers’ rule: “when cherries are red, spargel is dead,” the season of harvesting and eating white asparagus (spargel) begins annually in mid-April and ends on June 24th, St. John day. The crates are filled with cold water to keep the asparagus at peak freshness. The raft of white asparagus—straight and meticulously aligned—shares the plate with waxy, yellow new potatoes and a crumpled heap of wafer-thin, dark pink Westphalian ham (a regional delicacy made from acorn-fed, forest-dwelling pigs; their meat is dry-cured and cold-smoked over beechwood). It is white asparagus season here at Eckert’s in Belleville and across the globe, in Germany. Standing next to me, Lukasz Dominikowski, armed with his asparagus cutter (a long, flat tool with a sharp, forked blade), has detected a ripple. The popular vegetable grows best in sandy soil and is culti… But the idea that white asparagus are an improvement is strange. When grown under tunnels, growers can extend the harvest season. In 2017, many thousands of workers — mainly from Romania and Poland — cut some 129,600 tons of white asparagus in Germany during the short season. Isn’t it lucky, I think, that it tastes so good. Germans (and many Swiss and Austrian neighbors) are a jubilant bunch of eaters especially with the arrival of spargel—as the German’s call it—the ghostly-white stalk that heralds “spring is here!” It’s the first crop of the year to grace the dinner table, and after a long, gray winter this harbinger of summer elicits deep … But it’s the potatoes and ham that I keep thinking about: it’s an old-fashioned dish, yet it doesn’t feel outdated. White asparagus season is celebrated with a passion in Germany, and I’ve come to the flat, castle-filled region of Münsterland, with its maritime climate and sandy soil prime for the spring vegetable’s production, to find out why. We just like it looking nicer on the plate.”. Spargelzeit, or white asparagus season, officially begins in April, and harvesting finishes punctually on 24 June, the Christian celebration of the nativity of John the Baptist. Today, one of our culinary instructors, Sabine Vaughn, taught me how she grew up eating white asparagus in Germany. Ornate buildings in Münster town center feature white asparagus to represent the harvest. In Germany, Spargel is the term for asparagus, but it really is more commonly used to refer to the white variation which is so popular here. The city’s weekly market, a maze of trucks and stands shaded by colorful awnings, takes place in a large, leafy square by the cathedral. The two month white asparagus season that, depending on the weather, begins some time in April and lasts until just after Summer Solstice, on St. John the Baptist’s feast day June 24.For those weeks it is a country gripped by "Asparagus Fever". Heading out on the weekend into the countryside, often by bicycle—with a spectacularly flat landscape, it’s obvious why Münster is Germany’s cycling capital—they like to support local producers, and they want to know where their food comes from. The event also triggers the obligatory annual Spargel media frenzy. The white asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) or Spargel as it is called here is by all accounts one of the most anticipated and exciting culinary highlight of the year. During the high season, he tells me, his restaurant serves up to 220 pounds of white asparagus a week. Typically, the spears are cut off slightly below the earth’s surface to avoid damaging underground roots. The annual production for white asparagus in Germany is 57,000 tonnes (61% of consumer demand). This also affects the subtle flavor of it. White asparagus grows entirely surrounded by earth, which protects the slender stalks from sunlight exposure and keeps them from turning green. Image: public domain. By the end of the season, on June 26, approximately 55,000 tons of the vegetable will have been harvested. It’s hard work made easier through modern technology and the support of a collaborative local network: Grothues uses manure donated by a pig farm; their asparagus waste goes to a dairy farm as cow fodder. The annual harvesting of Germany’s “king of vegetables” begins in April and finishes on the 24 June, … Asparagus, mountains of buttery, white asparagus. Spargelsaison in Germany begins in April and ends abruptly on June 24 (Midsummer Day). He shakes his head. 2. May to June is Germany's white asparagus season! We’re talking about the German king of vegetables now that it’s white asparagus season. Over the course of my three days here, I try white asparagus several ways. Pulling a bundle of roots from the soil—a cluster of earthy rats’ tails attached to a feathery green shoot—he explains the labor-intensive white-asparagus-growing process. Calling all foodies: Germany's 'white gold' season is in full swing. White asparagus season is celebrated with a passion in Germany. Germans are so obsessed with spargel (white asparagus) that there are Facebook groups and websites dedicated to the königliche Gemüse (royal vegetable). Calling all foodies: Germany's 'white gold' season is in full swing The precise art of growing asparagus. Apple and Grape harvests symbolize Autumn in Germany, and Spargelzeit, the two month white asparagus season, is an eagerly anticipated sign of spring. It’s a short walk from the … 1. Some of Horstmöller’s customers have been eating at Leve for more than 50 years, and he and head chef Frank Lembeck, who’s emerged from the kitchen in his chef’s whites, know them well. It requires precision planting and constant monitoring of the soil that’s heaped over the spears to prevent them being exposed to sunlight: if it’s too hot, too cold, too wet, dry or hard, the growth of the spears is affected. 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