Germans are so obsessed with spargel (white asparagus), there are facebook groups and websitesdedicated to the königliche Gemüse ("King of Vegetables"). In season, Spargel is on every menu and grocery store aisle during the spring spargelzeit. It is deliciously unavoidable.
The biggest fans make pilgrimages to its source. Busloads of spargel enthusiasts travel to farms in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony, and Beelitz in the Northeast to enjoy the prized veggie. Each region claims to grow the best spargel, but the only way to know for sure is to tour them all. If you don't think spargel is worth a road trip, millions of Germans disagree with you.
Just outside of Berlin is the Spargelstadt (asparagus city) of Beelitz. You will recognize the name if you have ever been in a grocery store in Berlin during spargel season as Beelitz Spargel is proudly stamped on most boxes, stands, and menus.
Aside from shipping its white gold around the country, this small, agricultural center has a Spargelmuseum and a magnificent annual Beelitzer Spargelfest (May 31st to June 2nd in 2019). Expect live music, food stands, and a parade.
Eat the spargel directly from the source by shopping at the many spargelhöfe (asparagus farms). Many feature restaurants and attractions for the whole family. Start with the well-known farms of Jakob’s Hof, Buschmann & Winkelmann and Elsholz.
Spargelzeit also coincides with erdbeeren (strawberry) season so pick up a box of sweets with your savory veggies.
Badische Spargelstraßeis one of the most famous routes for spargel. It runs through the northern area of Baden-Württemberg for roughly 136 km from Schwetzingen to Reilingen to Karlsruhe to Rastatt.
The region's impressive harvest is dispersed throughout the nation to satisfy the rest of Germany's spargel lust. There are local stands and festivals that celebrate all things asparagus. Attractions include the fastest spargel peeler, spargel queen and/or king, live music and many mouth-watering white asparagus dishes. Everyone goes completely Spargel mad.
The start of the route, Schwetzingen, claims the title of “Asparagus Capital of the World”. The asparagus market has been happening here on the first Saturday in May for over 100 years (May 4th in 2019 from 10 til 23:00). Walk through the city and look for the statue of the Spargelfrau.
Located just before the Dutch border, Walbeck becomes a spargeldorf or "asparagus village" in season.
Niedersächsische Spargelstraße in northwestern Germany is approximately 750 kilometers. It connects the lovely Lüneburger Heide to Hanover to Braunschweig to Oldenburger Münsterland. Along with being a major asparagus-growing region, there is an Asparagus Museum located here among the half-timbered houses.
Bruchsaler Spargel-Erlebnis in Bruchsal is a top asparagus destination in Baden-Württemberg. A major growing region, it includes the towns of Bad Schönborn, Forst, Hambrücken, Karlsdorf-Neuthard, Kraichtal, Kronau, Oberhausen-Rheinhausen, Östringen, Philippsburg, Ubstadt-Weiher and Waghäusel.
Its spargel festival takes place over a weekend in May (May 18th and 19th in 2019).
Kutzleben in Thuringia is an 800-year-old village surrounded by picturesque asparagus fields. The town comes to life during Spargelzeit with many shops selling local goods and everything spargel.
Located in Bavaria, there is one time a year white asparagus steals the spotlight from Weisswurst. Its spargel is known for its strong, nutty flavor and Schrobenhausen revels in its reputation as a spargel destination.
Its annual Spargel market (April 10th in 2019) features a Spargel queenwho overseas the proceedings. You can also visit another Spargel Museum (who knew there was more than one?). There are three floors of asparagus paraphernalia with exhibits covering everything from the agriculture to marketing of this famed vegetable. There is even an Andy Warhol painting of asparagus.