It's that time of the year again—Spargelzeit has arrived! So what is Spargel? Well, it's asparagus. But it's not your common green variety that gets the Germans all steamed up—we're talking white asparagus (grown underground so that it never gets any sunlight) here and, no, I'd never seen it before I came to Berlin. Apparently the Germans have been keeping it all to themselves.
Around this time restaurants have special 'Spargelkarte', which is basically a menu full of asparagus dishes. Yep, every single dish has white asparagus in it. There's probably even a Spargel dessert—Spargel in chocolate mousse, Spargel crumble, Spargel ice cream. We joke but, really, Spargelzeit is not a laughing matter, there's a lot of white asparagus to be eaten and there's oh-so-little time to do it in. You have until June 24 (the official end of Spargelzeit) to try out this strangely tasty vegetable so dig out your peeler and your hollandaise sauce and get cracking.
This type of asparagus is a bit more woody so you need to peel off the outer layer, cut off the bottom and boil it for about 10 minutes. The most simple dish just involves adding lashings of hollandaise sauce or butter (with breadcrumbs if you're feeling particularly adventurous) then serve it with a side of Germany's other favourite dish—potatoes!