Imagine a vegetable so special, so traditional and nostalgic, that monumental debates rage about its preparation and presentation each year. Germans know exactly what we’re talking about, and if you don’t, it’s time for you to meet Spargel, or white asparagus.
A traditional symbol of spring and new life, Spargel has been celebrated in Germany for hundreds of years. While thicker and heartier than its green sibling, Spargel has slightly sweeter, more subtle flavor. In Germany, it is prized for its pure white color and delicious, tender texture.
Throughout history, asparagus has enjoyed a reputation as a luxury vegetable perhaps because it is grown and harvested in a very particular fashion. The plant produces a single stalk, which is harvested daily by farmers when it is in season. Spargel’s delicate white color requires an extra step, covering the plant in a mound of dirt to block out all of the chlorophyll-creating sunlight. Check out these photos of Theo at Spargelhof Schulze – a Spargel farm in Germany – to see how it works!
Germany and white asparagus have a very special relationship, one that no other country in Europe shares. Trying to get to the root of the Spargel-Germany romance is like asking about the chicken and the egg: if you ask why Germans go to such lengths for Spargel, they say it’s because it’s so special, but if you ask why it’s special, they say it’s because they go through such lengths to procure it. Bottom line: Germans love Spargel!
Here at the Willow Tree, the mere mention of Spargel is enough to send some chefs shaking in their boots, because we know very well how passionate Germans are about the preparation of their favorite vegetable. In honor of this springtime tradition, we will be importing white asparagus from Germany for the very first time in Hollerbach history.
During his visit to Spargelhof Schulze, Theo and the Spargel farmers worked out a plan to get these prized vegetables shipped to the United States just in time for our Springfest event! Due to Spargel’s short shelf life, the race is on the moment it is picked from the field. From the farm, it will be immediately transported to the Flughafen to be flown into Miami 10 hours later. Once it’s in Miami, Theo will be there to personally pick-up the Spargel and drive it back to Sanford, where it will be prepared by our chefs for your enjoyment. This is the largest shipment of Spargel that the Schulze farm has ever sent to the United States, and while it will be a massive challenge to get these delicate veggies from the field to your plate, we believe this experience is very special and 100% worth it for our guests.
The imported Spargel will be served à la carte in three different presentations: Spargelcremesuppe (cream of asparagus soup, a very popular and beloved dish this time of year in Germany), Spargel with hollandaise, and Spargel mit Schinken, aka asparagus with Kassler ham hand-carved by Theo Hollerbach and gently boiled Yukon gold potatoes. These dishes can be purchased at our Spargel booth during the event on May 13th with food tickets.
Whether it’s a favorite of yours or something you’ve never tried, we hope you will join us for some Spargel at Springfest!