With lots of sunshine in the days following Easter and more forecast for new week, one of Germany’s most beloved spring celebrations, Spargelsaison (asparagus season), has just launched.
On Thursday afternoon, the season officially kicked off through a celebration in Brandenburg’s Beelitz, which has been growing the venerated vegetable since 1861.
The Spargelino – the vegetable’s jolly mascot – was on hand, surrounded by women costumed in traditional countryside garb. He was joined by Brandenburg's agricultural minister Jörg Vogelsänger, as well as this year’s “Asparagus Queen” Lara Luisa Kramer, who bore a basket of the sleek stalk that Germans love to mix in their salads or slather with Hollandaise sauce.
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In Germany, Spargelsaison traditionally lasts until June 24th on Johannistag, or Saint John’s Eve.
Beelitz’s rich, sandy soils lend themselves well to the production of the white vegetable, which Germans prefer to its green variant. During the winter off-season, Greek farmers typically satiate the Germans’ appetite for the crop, importing much more than they consume domestically.
Despite April kicking off with colder-than-usual temperatures in Germany, the warm and mild temperatures of the past few days have helped the oft-dubbed “white gold” grow.
Brandenburg is already a base for asparagus production, with 100 companies growing on 4,900 hectares, according to German broadcaster rbb.
By the end of next week asparagus should be available from regions all over the country, experts state.