White Asparagus is synonymous with spring-time in my homeland and a great excuse for making yet another trip to Germany as the actual Spargelzeit season is short and thus access to this little pop-up speciality in food heaven also limited to just a few months.
For me, not just any kind of white asparagus will get me excited about vegging all out, especially not the sad looking ones you find in most American supermarkets year around from Chile (no offense SA, but the German one is so much better because of its seasonality), no, it has to be those thick juice white beauties ideally from the Southwest of Germany. While studying in Berlin, the Beelitzer Spargel from nearby Brandenburg was okay, but if you never had Spargel from my home region, the Pfalz, and particularly the towns of Dudenhofen and Römerberg, you are missing out. Before I get too carried away in minor details, let me focus back to a dish that I did not get introduced to until I was in my late 20s as the versions of it that I had come across previously came out of a can, and for me, NOTHING delicious ever came out of a can! The dish I am referring to is “Leipziger Allerlei” which can be compared to the American Chicken Pot Pie as the canned blurb of overcooked veggies in a yucky cream sauce is commonly served in or with puff pastry to add some glamour to the dish. Well, scratch all that along with the horrid childhood memories of eating at my aunts including her or any kind of Königsberger Klopse, as finally, after the German reunification and after a few years of working as a tour director during college, it was time for the explore Leipzig, the birthplace of this dish which is making a comeback these days. I have had many a Leipziger Allerlei since and while the one pictured here was not the best ever, it was still good eats mainly thanks to fresh local ingredients, the best of the nearby forest, field and river: White Asparagus, crawfish, new potatoes and morels. My search for the ultimate Leizpiger Allerlei – which should come with dumplings as I just learnt from the article below – will continue and if you have a favorite restaurant that serves this classic to share, please let me know. I have already booked my Spargelzeit-Flight for the spring of 2016!
Great read on the revival of Leipziger Allerlei can be found here for those of you who speak German.