Spring has officially sprung in Munich and one can always tell with the official opening of White Asparagus Season!
Known in Germany as “Spargelzeit”, which literally translates to “asparagus time”, is a highly anticipated time of year for many. Almost all traditional German restaurants throughout the country will have Spargel on the menu and you can find white asparagus being sold at most grocery stores. White asparagus can be a bit more pricey than the green variety, but this is due to the fact that new crops can take up to three years to grow. Furthermore, the harvesting method is by hand, which is extremely labor intensive.
Spargel season usually begins sometime in April (depending on the weather). You will know exactly when it starts because it’s front page news! The season then continues over the next couple of months and officially ends on June 24th. Make sure to stock up and get your fill! After this date, you will be hard pressed to find white asparagus and you will have to wait until next year.
In Munich, the celebration of Spargelzeit is a pretty big deal. There is an official opening ceremony which takes place every year at the Viktualienmarkt, with music, asparagus culinary delights and even a crowned Asparagus Queen. You can find out more here. Team City Starlings had the opportunity to visit this year and we agree that it is worth checking out at least once, while living in Munich.
If you really have “white asparagus fever”, we can recommend a day trip to Schrobenhausen, just 33 miles (53 km) north of Munich. Schrobenhausen is the famous Bavarian growing region for the white asparagus and is also home to the first European Asparagus Museum. Time willing, you can head a few kilometers south from Schrobenhausen to a little village called Gachenbach, for a visit to an actual working asparagus farm called Spargelhof Koppold. On the farm, you can see how they produce and harvest white asparagus as well as enjoy a buffet of asparagus dishes in their Stübel. Find out more about booking full day excursions or group events here.
Lastly, white asparagus can be easily prepared and enjoyed at home. Check out this fantastic post on the Spurce written by Expat Jennifer McGavin, on how to shop for and prepare white asparagus. Also, if you require dietary substitutions for Hollandaise sauce, here are a few options:
- Paleo & Nut Free Version from Stupid Easy Paleo
- Vegan Version from Honest Cooking
- Or to keep it simple, just a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper