After I posted about the asparamancer yesterday, the British woman who predicts the future by reading the signs in the patterns of cast asparagus, a friend who is currently living in Berlin tweeted to let me know it’s not just the Brits who are inspired by asparagus. “Spargelzeit is a real thing in Germany,” he wrote.
Naturally I had to click over to Google and thus I learned that Spargelzeit is asparagus season in Germany, a festive time that extends from mid-April to June 24. Although Germans get green asparagus all year round like we do, it’s the white asparagus that gets them really excited. “To say Germans love this seasonal vegetable would be an understatement… they absolutely adore it,” the German embassy in London explained in a Medium post last year. “Every year, the average German consumes roughly 1.5kg of the vegetable that is often referred to as the ‘king of the vegetables’.”
Well, hey, this is a country that sets aside a month to celebrate beer, so why not asparagus, too?
But the more I thought about it, the less weird it seemed. After all, am I not a person who does a little dance at the farmer’s market every year when the first garlic scapes appear and commiserate with the guy at my favorite fruit stand on the day of the last cherries? Do I not look back with fondness on that one special Saturday eight years ago when I scored scapes, strawberries, and corn all in one day (and also a packet of bacon from the butcher who usually sold out immediately)? Maybe we should start having our own festivals to celebrate seasonal produce. Especially now, when every day isn’t much different from the one before and there’s not a hell of a lot to look forward to. Farmers markets may not be opening, but things are still growing and farmers are still finding ways to get the produce out. Ramps came out last week, and green garlic is in right now, so I predict scapes very soon. And then I will celebrate with the most wonderful pungent pesto I can make. And then come strawberries and cherries that I can eat with yogurt every morning, and sour cherries that I’ll celebrate with a pie (but only one, because it’s such a pain to pit that many)...
What other foods deserve their own spargelzeit?