By Sharon Hudgins Photographs Courtesy Sharon Hudgins
From mid-April through much of June is Spargelzeit, the annual asparagus season in Germany when thick white stalks of Spargel are pulled by hand from their covering of sandy soil and consumed in countless ways, from soups and salads to drinks and desserts.
Eating fresh white asparagus in season is a cultural thing in Germany, specific to a certain time on the calendar (sort of like eating chile-con-queso and tortilla chips on Super Bowl Sunday in America). Everyone does it. Roadside stands, farmers’ markets, and supermarkets offer a variety of white asparagus in different sizes, at prices to match. Although asparagus is also imported to meet the high demand for it in Germany, locally grown German asparagus is always considered the best. Some of the most highly prized comes from the fields around Schrobenhausen, about 30 miles north of Munich, which also boasts an asparagus museum with more than a thousand exhibits pertaining to Spargel.