Asparagus and the Germans……

Even though most asparagus found in shops are green, it is also available in white. White asparagus is simply green asparagus, buried. Popular in some less interesting parts of Europe for its smooth buttery taste, white asparagus is created by mounding sandy soil over the beds to shield the growing plants from direct exposure to the sun, which ordinarily induces the manufacture of chlorophyll and turns the stalks green.

The Germans are so stereotypically serious about their ghostly and pallid crop, that during the spring asparagus season — Spargelzeit —groups of sombre looking men and women in lederhosen annually converge on the Asparagus Triangle in Baden-Württemberg, where the town of Schwetzingen styles itself the “Asparagus Capital of the World.” The point of Spargelzeit is, of course, to eat as much asparagus as possible, preferably at every meal, though the area also features asparagus celebrations with the crowning of an Asparagus Queen, asparagus-peeling contests, an Asparagus Cycling Trail, and a three-story Asparagus Museum in a fifteenth-century tower in Freistaat Bayern.

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