Travel Photo of the Day: White Asparagus in Western Europe

Staff Writer
Spring marks the return of what some consider a 'cult' vegetable

(Photo: Flickr/andrea martinello/CC4.0)

Europeans are very fond of this spring delicacy.

If you’re in Western Europe this spring, you may have the good fortune of witnessing the arrival of white asparagus. Increasingly sold in the States, white asparagus is generally considered to be a spring delicacy in countries like Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy.

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So what’s the difference between white and green asparagus? Quite simply, if not surprisingly, only the color. With a thick layer of mulch, plastic, or dirt overtop, white asparagus is grown in a way that prevents exposure to sunlight. Without sun, there’s no photosynthesis, hence no green.

Germans are particularly fond of spargel (or white asparagus). Traditionally, they serve the vegetable boiled and with several side dishes including new potatoes, pancakes, ham, schnitzel, or smoked salmon.  

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