Germans go crazy for white asparagus. It’s been called the ‘vegetable of kings,’ ‘edible ivory,’ or simply ‘white gold. ‘ It’s white asparagus, and Germans have a veritable passion for the spring vegetable during its short growing season. Germans are absolutely crazy about asparagus, known here as Spargel.
A page from Army Kaserne US Army Germany
Whenever you enter a German supermarket or farmer’s market in spring, you’ll see signs along these lines everywhere: FRISCHER NÜRNBERGER SPARGEL! (fresh Nuremberg asparagus!) It might seem a bit aggressive – and to be fair, sellers urging you to buy Spargel can seem over-the-top, too. But that’s how spring works, vegetable-wise.
You might look at your screen now and wonder what I am talking about, so let me translate: Spargelzeit simply means asparagus season. Why is that worth a word of the day, you ask? That’s simple: Germans are obsessed with asparagus. People have been eating cabbage and potatoes all winter and asparagus means that spring is here. Hence, when the season starts each year, you are guaranteed to find asparagus everywhere.
Some statistics to prove my case: When you google “Spargelzeit 2019”, you immediately find 292,000 results. A lot of them are about asparagus recipes or where you can buy it cheaply.
According to the Information Centre for Agriculture, the total consumption of asparagus in 2015 was about 123,000 tons of the vegetable. That means a consumption of 1.5 kilograms per capita.