Germany is the world champion. Not in football, but at least in eating asparagus. Statistically, every German adult eats almost one and a half kilograms of white asparagus, in some years even more, according to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Only one in six does not like it. Nowhere else in Europe is asparagus grown as in Germany. There are 22,000 hectares. This year's yield of 110,000 tonnes is meagre because of the weather, so Spain and Greece have to step in.
Germans eat the shoots of Asparagus officinalis 35 percent of the time with ham, 54 percent with potatoes and 56 percent flood them with hollandaise sauce, an amalgam of wine, cream and eggs. The food industry rejoices over this and sells millions of tetrapaks of the industrially mixed sauce, which - largely without wine, cream and eggs - is also repeatedly served in restaurants with "fresh asparagus from the region". For wine fans, there is also the pain of choosing the right wine. Silvaner, Pinot Blanc or even Riesling are just as often as unimaginatively recommended with asparagus. Menus, magazines and sommeliers reliably rattle off the same recommendations every year.