In times of planetary uncertainties, of idols that last the espace d' un matin, of rapid success and oblivion, he is the only untouchable character in Germany: the white asparagus. It grows under a generous soil, candidly protected. It is a national pride and a delicious obsession; it creates a kind of addiction.
The harvest days (or "spargelzeit") are strictly set, but the wait already becomes frantic and spasmodic in the first warm days of spring, when peaceful troops of harvesters from all over Europe march towards the Teutonic campaigns. You can breathe 'restlessness': will they come out? They have worked hard to grow them in the best possible way. There are strange chains of farmers and breeders bartering with each other: you give me the asparagus scraps to feed my pigs, I'll give you back their manure to fertilise the land.
I don't want to think about the 'perfume' that surrounds those pigs... or maybe the pigs do not perceive, like many humans, the pungent sulphurous smell of their urine. This seems to be due to a genome that not everyone has. Serious studies are underway on DNA to explain this strange phenomenon. All too complicated and bizarre.
White asparagus have always been eaten submerged by pints of melted butter or accompanied by bowls of solid butter (hollandaise sauce). It is a vegetable; our conscience is saved! It goes well with schnitzel, ham, potatoes.
Asparagus with parmesan sauce
1 kg of white asparagus
50g of ginger
30g of butter
½ untreated lemon
80g of crème fraîche
200g of grated Parmesan cheese
10g of sugar
1) Wash the asparagus with care, peel the stem with a potato peeler and leave the scraps aside.
2) In a saucepan, put some slightly salted water, butter, ginger, the trimmed asparagus and sugar. Gently boil for 5 minutes. Drain and cook the asparagus in this fragrant liquid for about 5 minutes.
3) Heat the crème fraîche in a bain-marie saucepan, pour in the Parmesan and stir up with a whisk until you get a smooth and thick but still fluid texture. Add a few drops of lemon and some grated lemon skin.
4) Pour the sauce over the heated asparagus.