In mid May you can find White Asparagus or Spargel in almost every Restaurant in Germany. In other parts of the world, they are available year round. Spargel are in soups, also in salads with oil and vinegar dressing and a chopped boiled egg on top. Sometimes Spargel is covered with Bechamel sauce (see recipe below).
White Asparagus is home to warm or moderate regions of southern and central Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, especially on river banks. He is cultivated in several cultivars as a vegetable plant.
One distinguishes between white (Spargel) and green asparagus. In the former, the shoot axes are harvested before they reach the earth’s surface. Depending on the region, the asparagus shoots are harvested in Europe from March to June and are highly prized as a vegetable. In Germany today the consumption of pale white asparagus prevails. In English-speaking countries its the green asparagus is preferred.
Make an Asparagus salad with this Knorr Salat Dressing
To make a Cheese Sauce: Stir in 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking, along with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Asparagus has long been known as a vegetable and medicinal plant. In China, asparagus plants (relatives of the present vegetable asparagus) were already prescribed over 5000 years ago for cough, bladder problems and ulcers.
The Egyptians used it 4,500 years ago, Greeks and Romans knew it already in the 2nd century BC. The Roman author Columella mentions it in his book “De re rustica”.
As a medicinal plant wild-growing asparagus was preferred. It was already mentioned in Hippocrates of Kos and Dioscorides, an active diuretic and laxative, and should help against jaundice. With these indications it was used until the 19th century.
With the Romans and their culture, the asparagus probably found its way across the Alps. In Trier, the oldest German city, a price tag for asparagus from the 2nd century was found.
With the decline of Roman culture, asparagus cultivation disappeared. Only for the 16th century, the cultivation started again. Asparagus was again considered an expensive delicacy in aristocratic circles.
In the past, the root was recognized as a remedy, the seeds were used as a coffee supplement