Spargel – Favorite (But Still Weird) German Thing #1

Spargel – Favorite (But Still Weird) German Thing #1

I’ve decided to start a new category – Favorite German Things! This category is related to Weird German Things, in that I will be discussing things that I have discovered in Germany. But these are going to be things that I think are totally awesome.

The first item on my list of my favorite German things is Spargel – known in English as “asparagus”. I’m not talking about any old asparagus, however. I’m talking about white asparagus.

Spargel with Ham, Potatoes, and Hollandaise Sauce
Spargel with ham, potatoes, and Hollandaise sauce. Super delicious.

Spargel is a type of asparagus grown in Germany – and it is just regular green asparagus grown without access to sunlight by covering it with dirt. The lack of light keeps chlorophyll from forming. This gives it a milder, sweeter taste.

Spargel Field, Photo by Michael Panse
A typical Spargel field – with mounds of dirt and tarps over the Spargel.
Photo by Michael Panse

We cooked ours by wrapping up in some foil, adding a spoonful of butter, and letting it heat in the oven. There are tons of different recipes that you can make with it. Christie Dietz over at “A Sausage Has Two” has a list of 17 recipes for Spargel! Because it’s got quite a mild taste, it can be combined with a variety of other foods with fabulous results.

Unfortunately, it’s a seasonal food, and Spargel season is coming to an end. But from April to June, you can find it everywhere. Supermarkets will carry packaged variety, but you can also find fresh Spargel at open air markets and special stands that pop up only in the Spring. Many restaurants will have a special Spargel menu during this time, and if you ever find yourself in Germany during Spargel season, I would highly suggest tracking some down!

What are some delicious, seasonal foods where you live?

7 thoughts on “Spargel – Favorite (But Still Weird) German Thing #1

  1. A few weeks ago, I couldn’t figure out where all this Spargel was coming from, because I hadn’t seen a single field. Where are these endless fields of white, stiff veggies!? After asking a German friend, I learned that it grows under ground?! *Insert mind explosion*. Spargel soup has been my favorite dish so far. Delish!

    1. My mind was pretty much blown when I was told that’s its just regular asparagus, it’s just white from lack of sunlight. It’s hard for me to believe that it can actually grow that way! I’m glad it does, though.

  2. oh man, Germans are really obsessed with that white asparagus! I don’t get the appeal so much personally. I do love when it’s autumn here though and there are loads of dishes with pumpkin, such as pumpkin soup – yum!

  3. I am also an American living in Germany. 🙂 I’m writing a post about spargel and was doing some internet research and came across your blog! So glad it’s spargel time right now! I didn’t even realize it–we were just at a restaurant and I saw the menu in there. So yummy!!!! Anyway, nice to read about someone else’s experiences here! I’ll definitely check out more of your blog!

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