Thursday, May 30, 2013

Some tips for cooking and eating Spargel (asparagus)

Spargel soup! Tasty, but very mild.
A few weeks ago I took a cooking class for the spring season's two specialties here: strawberries and Spargel (asparagus), which I wrote a little about earlier. I learned some rather useful hints and will share some of the Spargel information:

-White Spargel must be peeled; the outside is rather chewy. Peel it from just below the tip down to the stem. The thicker the white Spargel is, the more of the outside must be peeled off.
-Grown under a pile of earth, white Spargel is colored as such because it is not exposed to light before it is harvested. It was available in Germany starting in the 19th century. It is milder tasting than green asparagus. Honestly, it doesn't have much of a taste to me, but I find German cooking is blander than what I'm accustomed to so maybe it's a taste preference here.
-Green asparagus has more flavor, a high chlorophyll content, more vitamin C and more carotene than the other colors (white and violet). I personally prefer green asparagus, myself.
-There are different classes of asparagus, from Klasse Extra/I, which is the highest quality, to Klasse II, that meets the minimum standards. The higher the class, the higher the price.
-There is a lot of asparagus-growin' going on around Mannheim and Heidelberg. Schwetzingen, near both cities, has a nice castle and claims to be the asparagus capitol of the world. Good for them!
-Don't cook Spargel in an aluminum pot; they react negatively and turn the Spargel gray.

So, there you go! Definitely give some Spargel a try! It's really big in Germany during the spring, and is prepared in many different ways from being served whole with butter or Hollandaise sauce, to being made into soups and other tasty treats. In fact, green Spargel is good even raw! My favorite way to eat it is to lightly toss green asparagus with some olive oil, sea salt, and to bake it in the oven.


  1. My only tip for eating Spargel is to let everyone else do so, telling you how marvelous it is, how you really are missing out on something wonderful every spingtime. Nod your head, smile and say, Guten Appetit! as you gratefully decline...

  2. Oh no, I am convinced that stuff is evil. :)
    I wouldn't have formed this opinion without trying it! What the heck, it leaves that much more for the rest.