How do you know that you’re definitely in Germany? One sure fire way: when you check the menu of a McDonald’s in the springtime and see a ‘Spargel Burger’.
Germans are so enamored by the ‘white gold’ – special light-coloured asparagus which is much thicker than its North American green counterpart – that it’s now a featured fast food at McDonald’s Germany, and with classic Hollandaise sauce and bacon to boot.
On Thursday, the popular American fast-food chain restaurant – which counts nearly 1,500 outlets in Germany – published a photo of the “Big Spargel Hollandaise” saying that it would be available at select restaurants. They assured customers: “Yes, it’s really there.”
But its release was met with mixed reactions. “We absolutely have to go to McDonald’s sometime,” wrote one. Yet another called the unconventional creation “perverse.”
Another commenter showed skepticism: “Hollandaise sauce on a burger? Does that even taste good?”
Others weighed in on social media to point out that the product is a sign of Germany’s fascination with the vegetable.
I have never known a country to be so obsessed with Spargel (asparagus). I respect Germany’s dedication. https://t.co/WUQYblFeXT
— Rachel Loxton (@RachLoxton) May 7, 2021
The burger is the latest to join the asparagus craze, with a phallic-shaped Spargel monument in Torgau, Saxony capturing the public attention – or bewilderment – earlier in the week.
Germany… this Spargel obsession has gone too far.https://t.co/cif21ql00h
— Hilda 金 Hoy (@hildahoy) May 4, 2021
An annual tradition
Every year, Germany typically celebrates ‘Spargelzeit’ (asparagus season) from the middle of April until June 24th, which many dub ‘Spargelsilvester’ (Asparagus-New Year’s Eve).
READ ALSO: German word of the day: Spargelzeit
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The beloved vegetable, harvested heavily around the country, usually has its own special menu devoted to it at restaurants, and is sold in supermarkets – or road-side stands – next to jars of the classic Hollandaise sauce.
The top states which grow the crop are Lower Saxony, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, but Beeliz, Brandenburg is also synonymous with Spargel in Germany.
In normal years the tiny town hosts a sprawling festival to mark the start of the season, anointing a Spargel king and queen.