Die Spargelzeit

Asparagus time!

Asparagus season is a culinary celebration in Germany, between bärlauch and cherries. The long thick glowing white stalks of German asparagus have to be hand-cultivated under impressive mounds of dirt to keep the sun from turning them green. Once harvested, they are sold almost like truffles, except cheaper and there’s enough for everyone.

White asparagus is good alone with sauce hollandaise (made from scratch, it’s easy if only you can get the right ingredients), with fish, with fresh small spring potatoes. Save the peelings and trimmings to boil in water for asparagus soup (remove boiled peelings and trimmings then puree the broth with cream, some chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, garnish with fresh herbs at the last minute). Serve with chilled dry white German wine in those short round bottles.

Key words for white asparagus include “tender.” It gets woody if it’s too old or if it’s cooked too long, which is a bit counterintuitive. Asparagus marketed as “crisp” might already be woody.

(Dee    SHPOG ell tsight.)

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