It starts at the beginning of April: a symbolic first white asparagus plant is being digged out to officially open the asparagus season in Bavaria. The tasty and healthy vegetable, considered a delicacy in North America, is on sale everywhere in Bavaria until the end of June. By then, the farmer’s rule dictates, “Kirschen rot, Spargel tot” (“asparagus is dead when the cherries are red”) and herald harvest’s end.
The sprouts like sandy and humid soil, and the most important production area is Schrobenhausen in Upper Bavaria – though Franconia and Lower Bavaria also have a lot of asparagus producing farms. With over 6400 acres, asparagus has become the widest vegetable cultivation in Bavaria. The asparagus from Schrobenhausen (2010) and the asparagus from Abensberg (2012) have been recognized by the EU as protected geographical indications.
Harvested by hand, plant by plant, and usually sold the same day, white asparagus can be prepared in many different variations: as a cold salad with nothing but oil and vinegar, or warm with melting butter or Sauce hollandaise, rolled into ham or Pfannkuchen (a pancake), or simply as a soup. To enjoy it even more, a dry white wine will be the best accompaniment – from Franconia of course.