This article was contributed by Jasmine Omeke ’14. Jasmine is an FLP rep studying abroad in Berlin. During her semester, she’s reporting on food politics and the food scene in Berlin with a particular emphasis on the role of food in urban development.
Most people are aware of Germany’s expertise when it comes to meat and potato preparation, but you may be surprised to learn that the asparagus (called Spargel in German) reins supreme in the Spring time.
Germany’s climate makes it ideal to cultivate and harvest green asparagus plants. While harder to cultivate and less rich in vitamins, the white variety of asparagus is largely preferred. The white version is also harder to prepare because you must remove the ends and peel it before cooking. In Herten, North Rhein Westphalia, the Vestisches Spargelmuseum has opened in homage to the green plant. The exhibition delves into Germany’s use of the plant and the cultivation process. The same city even has a Spargel Queen contest and festival.
If you’d like to try a simple asparagus recipe, try Katharina Rau’s, the 2012 and 2013 Spargel Queen, favorite preparation method: “lightly roasted with a little butter”.