What a delight: Asparagus and spring
April brings many good things to northern Europe and one that marks the start of this celebratory season in Germany is Spargelsaison or Spargelzeit (asparagus season or asparagus time), which I will dare to say has pretty much the same ‘kling’ in the mind of German foodies as the word Spring itself. During this time, between April and June, markets all the way from northern Spain through to the north of Ireland, UK, France, the Netherlands, and of course Germany are decorated with asparagus. Heaps of them, in bunches, in boxes, tied up in towers and of course in different ranges of price and brought in, more often than not, straight in the hand of local producers. As a native vegetable to most of Europe (as well as northern Africa and western Asia) it brings to the table a boost of nutrition after the winter grey months, especially the popular white asparagus, who vs the green, although it might sound odd, has higher vitamin and mineral values and more fibre, never mind popularity. Asparagus carries with dignity thousands of years to its having and for us, luckily, to its giving, which counts to over 5000 years of use in cooking and medicine. I reckon a good human companion plant and friend of a tasty Spring table.
In Germany asparagus it typically ate peeled and steamed with butter or hollandaise sauce and sprinkled with parsley, either alone, or with boiled eggs, or meatballs and steamed potatoes, or black forest ham, or smoked pork to name a few tasty combinations. As generous as this vegetable is, it is flexible.