The asparagus season just started in Germany and I wish I was there. There is a beautiful farmers market in Ludwigsburg (my hometown), it is open three times a week, year round. I used to buy all of our fresh produce at the farmers market. During the asparagus season which lasts from mid April (depending on the weather) until June 24th, the asparagus farmers will suddenly make their entry at the market and we would always buy a pound or two for our Sunday meal. German asparagus is white. The farmers sort stalks into bins - crooked and thin (only used for asparagus soup) to flawless, thick and pure white or light violet. You can choose your price point. When I was a kid, during Spargelzeit (asparagus season) every Sunday meal consisted of a big pile of the very freshest asparagus drizzled with butter and sprinkled with salt plus a potato on the side. And even though this got a little tiring for us as kids we would never say a word and my parents would never serve anything else during this time of year. For when the asparagus season is over, no asparagus will be eaten until next spring when local asparagus becomes available again. This might have been a little rigid, but as an adult, I always try buying seasonal and local produce to support our local farmers.
I cannot readily find white asparagus in America. The green asparagus is a little more intense in flavor but we love it just as well. It is green because it is allowed to grow above ground while the white asparagus is harvested before it crowns the earth. The long mounds of earth are surveyed twice a day and every asparagus stalk that starts to poke out of the ground is cut with a special tool and plucked from the earth. A very labor intensive task. Alas, this recipe couldn't be easier!