There’s a small farm just north of Hamilton that I pass everyday. Every year in late April, a sign goes up at that farm to get your order in for asparagus. They grow the typical green asparagus, but it always reminds me of that wonderful German time called ‘Spargelzeit.’ That means it’s white asparagus time. Spargel is the beloved white asparagus that is harvested in early spring and revered as a super seasonal dish in Germany.
A childhood friend of mine who now lives in Swabia in Germany posted a dinner with spargel on Facebook yesterday that made me craving it. too
I’ve been in northern Germany several times during Spargelzeit and love the way they serve it. Its cooked to a tender consistency, covered in a creamy Hollandaise sauce, and sprinkled with fresh chopped parley or herbs. It’s usually accompanied by a regional potato dumpling and some sort of cured ham rolls.
The village where my grandpa’s mother Carolina, was from in Westphalia, Germany(Oppenwehe) has a Spargelfest around this time every year, and they elect a Spargelkoeningin or Spargel Queen and even have a huge Spargel parade through the small town – what fun, huh? In fact there are several areas and cities in GErmany from the north to Bavaria in the south that have Spargel Day parades and elect a Spargel Queen.
How cool to devote so much honor to a seasonal vegetable, but I feel like this is something we should be doing more of in the age of processed everything.
Three cheers for Spargel – “ziga zaga ziga zaga oi oi oi!!”