Harvesting 'white gold'

Germany's adoration for the asparagus is evident in the names it has given the vegetable.

Germans call it the "king of vegetables", and they call their favourite variety - the white asparagus - "white gold".

White asparagus is simply green asparagus that has been grown without exposure to the sun.

The iconic colour is achieved by growing the vegetable under a pile of soil or under a shroud of dark plastic which blocks out the sun.

The lack of sunlight prevents the asparagus shoots from producing chlorophyll, which gives most plants their green colour.

Asparagus season, which heralds the coming of spring, sparks a frenzy for the vegetable in Germany.

Demand for the venerated vegetable often sends prices skyrocketing in Germany, sometimes as high as €20 (S$30) for a kilo.

This year, a good yield from the Ruhr region looks set to keep supplies healthy and Germans happy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2019, with the headline 'Harvesting 'white gold''. Print Edition | Subscribe