The Baden Asparagus Route Covers 136 Kilometres of Asparagus Producing Country:
With spring comes asparagus, nicknamed “spears of spring air” by some in Germany. The Baden region is well-known for its fine asparagus and for lovers of this vegetable, the Baden Asparagus Route covers almost 136 kilometres of fine asparagus-producing country.
A Royal Vegetable
As the asparagus was much loved by royalty in the past, it earned itself the nickname of “royal vegetable”. Louis XIV, the Sun King, loved it and had special greenhouses built to grow asparagus. Emperor Karl I loved it as did Ludwig, the Elector Palatine – he ordered that the royal vegetable be cultivated in the gardens of his summer residence, what is now the Schwetzingen Palace. The popularity of asparagus then spread to neighbouring princedoms.
Asparagus is an easy-to-cook and versatile vegetable. But more than being a delicacy, asparagus is recognised as a healthy vegetable with body-purifying qualities. Asparagus was highly prized by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks as a remedy for all minor ailments, a beneficial herb and also as an aphrodisiac.
Baden Asparagus Route
The Baden Asparagus Route runs from the asparagus-producing town of Schwetzingen, southwest of Heidelberg, to Reilingen, Karlsruhe and Rastatt to Scherzheim and the season is eagerly awaited by those who love this vegetable.
The white asparagus spears are harvested between mid-April and 24 June, during which time visitors can watch the harvesters at work and even participate in gathering the spears. The town of Reilingen, has an educational asparagus trail, although I’m not sure if the information is in English. Bruchsalis host to Europe’s largest asparagus festival and is certainly worth visiting.
Once the asparagus harvest is in, there are asparagus festivals all along the Asparagus Route. Asparagus queen, asparagus peeling competitions, music and entertainment are some of the happenings. And then there’s the opportunity to taste freshly harvested asparagus with local farmers serving up a wide range of delicious asparagus dishes. Along the route roadside stands and open markets sell a large quantity of Germany’s white asparagus consumption.
The Baden region is also famous for its wine-growing and the local Baden wine goes well with asparagus. But whether it’s the asparagus season or the wine harvest that interests you, the Baden Asparagus Route has plenty to offer throughout the year.