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Spargelzeit is upon us! If you’re in Germany, try the asparagus dishes popping up everywhere. Asparagus is in season – just as apples are the food of autumn, nothing epitomizes the German spring like flowers and Spargel. Elsewhere, green asparagus is the norm, but Germany prefers the seasonal white variety. White asparagus grows surrounded by earth which protects the stalks from sun exposure and thereby keeps it from turning green. This also affects the vegetable’s subtle flavor. Rich in nutrients and low in calories, asparagus is also a very healthy food. The most popular ways of enjoying white asparagus are deliberately simple so as not to overpower its delicate flavor: served with melted butter and new potatoes (Spargel mit Butter), with ham (Spargel mit Schinken) or with Hollandaise sauce (Spargel mit holländischer Sauce). For the more adventurous fans of this quintessential spring vegetable, Germany’s innovative chefs are constantly coming up with new ways to serve the tender stalks as an appetizer, entrée or even as part of dessert.
“Ein Kluger bemerkt alles, ein Dummer macht über alles eine Bemerkung.”
– Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) was a German poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He’s well-known internationally for his early lyric poetry, set to music by composers such as Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. His later verse and prose are distinguished by their satirical wit and irony. He is considered part of the Junges Deutschland (Young Germany) movement. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by authorities. He spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris. (via willkommen-in-germany)
Schwalmstadt is the largest town in the Schwalm-Eder district of Hessen in Central Germany. It was established in 1970 with the amalgamation of the towns of Treysa and Ziegenhain together with some outlying villages to form the town. Schwalmstadt lies in the Schwalm area in the western Knüllgebirge, a low mountain range. Through the town flows the river Schwalm. The nearest larger towns are Kassel (50 km), Bad Hersfeld (35 km), Marburg (40 km) and Fulda (70 km). In the 8th century, Treysa was owned by the Abbots of Hersfeld. The Counts of Cigenhagen were named in a document for the first time in 1144. In 1186, it was taken over by the Counts and fortified. Treysa’s landmark, the Martinskirche, now known as the Totenkirche (Church of the Dead), was built in 1230. Treysa was granted town rights sometime between 1229 and 1270, and the same rights were bestowed upon Ziegenhain in 1274. After the last Count’s death in 1450, the county passed to Hessen.