Baden-Wuerttemberg is Germany’s third largest state and home to the famed Black Forest, the premier spa town: Baden-Baden, Cuckoo Clocks and one of the most productive asparagus regions in Germany. While Americans eagerly await Groundhog’s Day to hopefully announce the beginning of spring, in Germany spring is heralded in with the much tastier arrival of asparagus, or Spargel.
During the season, which lasts from April until mid-June, almost every eatery in Germany, from the tiniest Brauhaus to the most elegant restaurant offers a Spargelkarte, a special asparagus menu, in addition to their regular menu. Although there are many variations depending on the region, the classics are: asparagus with butter or hollandais; with cooked potatoes, and asparagus with salmon or ham. Baden-Wuerttemberg’s speciality is: Black Forest ham, a spiced and smoked version of ham–Yummers!
There are many festivals throughout the area paying homage to this “royal vegetable” offering some fun-sounding events like the asparagus peeling competitions, the crowning of the asparagus king, and tons of tasty asparagus creations. Just time for one? The biggest asparagus festival, this May 16 – 18, is held in Bruchsal, near Stuttgart, which lies on the Upper Rhine plain.