German ′white gold′ asparagus sprouts early | News | DW | 20.03.2019
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German 'white gold' asparagus sprouts early

Asparagus season has been known to put Germany into a spin. With the first tips surfacing across some states, the season looks to have arrived early. But fans can expect to dig deep into their wallets for an early taste.

The first asparagus shoots have arrived in some German states two weeks earlier than the official start of the season, according to local media.

But die-hard fans that can't wait for the April 10 white asparagus kick-off will have to pay big, with purchases from the farm gate as high as €20 per kilo.

Germany is known to go crazy for the short-lived season that heralds spring, with some states holding special events and one city's crop of "white gold" enjoying protected European status, similar to Parmesan cheese of Parma, Italy.

Watch video 02:38

Asparagus calling

While the plant typically enjoys warm weather, the German favorite of white asparagus is kept covered — often under soil and black plastic sheeting and sometimes even with underground heating — to prevent it from turning green.

The yield around the western Ruhr region is expected to be good after recent rains followed by sunny days however some crops in the south have suffered after storms damaged their protective covering, according to the daily Stuttgarter Zeitung.

Brexit to keep British crop in the ground

However, the British asparagus season looked to be on shaky ground this year due to uncertainties around Brexit, according to Reuters news agency.

Some British asparagus may have to stay in the ground this spring as farmers fear Britain's departure from the European Union will keep eastern European seasonal workers away, Reuters reported.

"It is incredibly clear cut — there is no UK asparagus on your supermarket shelves without seasonal migrant workers," farmer Chris Chinn told the agency.

ta/sms (dpa, Reuters)

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