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Vegetables of the season – April (plus recipe)

For gourmets, spring promises a culinary high, because asparagus is in season. Regardless of the color, whether white, green or purple – asparagus, also known as “white gold” by connoisseurs, grows from the beginning of April to the end of June (traditionally until June 24, St. John’s Day).

The history of asparagus

Before asparagus made its way onto our plates, it was already valued as a medicinal plant thousands of years ago in Greece, Egypt and China. Its healing properties were particularly sought after for bladder problems and coughs.
Asparagus was also very popular with the Romans and was probably spread throughout Europe by their conquests, whereby the healing effect of asparagus was also a priority at that time, which is why the plant was mainly cultivated by monks in monastery gardens.

It was not until the 16th century that asparagus turned from a medicinal to a luxury food and the plant was increasingly recognized as a tasty speciality, particularly in royal households.

The second turning point for asparagus took place in the 19th century: Asparagus, which had previously only been green, changed color and was now primarily grown as white asparagus. The joke is that green, white and purple asparagus differ only in the way they are grown – the plant is exactly the same. White asparagus was discovered by chance: the asparagus plant was covered with clay pots to protect it from pests and animals. Due to the lack of sunlight, no chlorophyll, which is responsible for the green coloration of plants, was formed in the plant, which is why the asparagus remained white.
Nowadays, the roots of the asparagus are covered with a mound of soil so that white asparagus can be harvested at the end. Purple asparagus is basically white asparagus that has grown from the ground and has been exposed to sunlight for a short time.

Green asparagus that sprouts from the ground

The cultivation of white asparagus is therefore very time-consuming, as it is necessary to check early in the morning and in the evening to ensure that the asparagus is not already sprouting through the surface of the soil. This can be recognized by the fine cracks on the surface of the soil. Asparagus to be harvested is carefully dug up and “pricked” with a special harvesting knife. The undamaged root is then covered with soil again to ensure the “lightless” growth of the new shoot.

If your appetite for asparagus has now been awakened, we will of course provide inspiration for new asparagus creations in the kitchen:

Recipe for a spring asparagus salad

Ingredients for 4 portions

  • 50g Parmesan (or other spicy cheese)
  • 70g walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
  • 40g breadcrumbs (old chopped bread, or crumble fresh bread and toast in the oven or in a pan until crispy)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • chilli flakes
  • 500g fresh green asparagus (remove woody ends)
  • 15g mint
  • olive oil


Mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan, walnuts, salt, pepper, chili and lemon zest in a bowl. Cut the asparagus into very thin slices and fry briefly in a pan with olive oil so that it is still nice and crispy. Mix the breadcrumb mixture with the asparagus, add the lemon juice and chopped mint. Marinate with olive oil and season if necessary and the fresh spring salad is ready to serve.

Asparagus cut into thin slices
the finished asparagus salad, arranged in a bowl

Have fun cooking and enjoy!

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