Here’s how my first go at white asparagus turned out

Here’s how my first go at white asparagus turned out

by Amanda Palumbo
Stars & Stripes Europe

I’ve never quite seen a country so obsessed with a vegetable as Germany is with white asparagus. There are festivals, elaborate grocery store displays and roadside vendors all pushing which has aptly been nicknamed, “white gold.” I had never even seen white asparagus until I moved here and always found it a little intimidating to prepare. I’m not sure why considering we have a lot in common. We’re both the same shade of white since neither of us sees the sun. But thanks to pandemic-induced boredom and YouTube, I finally did, and here’s how it went.

Picking your asparagus
When choosing your white asparagus, look for long straight stalks, without too much purple. If you’re able to see the bottom of the stalk, give it a squeeze and see if any moisture comes out. If you see tiny droplets, that’s a good bundle.

The basic cooking method

Wash and then cut about two inches off the bottom of the stalks. You can put these to the sides if you want to use it as a base for soup later.

Peel the outside of the stalk. I used a basic vegetable peeler.

Add the asparagus to two liters of boiling water with two teaspoons of salt and three teaspoons of sugar. Boil for 10-15 minutes. You should be able to easily slide a knife into the stalk when it’s done.

Transfer and serve immediately. Typically served with hollandaise sauce but I used melted butter.

If you’re not a fan of green asparagus, definitely give the white a try. It is much milder than it’s green brother and slightly sweeter. There are several different ways to cook white asparagus such as roasting and grilling. White asparagus is usually paired with ham but I served it with barbecue chicken, brown rice and a dry Riesling from the Pfalz.


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