The Baden Asparagus Route certainly lives up to its name, as seasoned connoisseurs are well aware, and it now has mecca status for the asparagus elite. The route and its accompanying cycle route is an immersive experience from beginning to end. Covering almost 136 km, the route runs from the asparagus-producing town of Schwetzingen via Reilingen, Karlsruhe and Rastatt to Scherzheim.
Asparagus season is as eagerly awaited by food lovers as the new crop of sweet, juicy strawberries is by strawberry pickers. The French Sun King, Louis XIV, loved asparagus way back in the 17th century and when Charles Theodore, the Elector of Palatine, developed a taste for it around 1650, he ordered that the royal vegetable be cultivated in what are now the castle gardens of his summer residence Schwetzingen Palace.. From this point, asparagus became gradually more widespread in the courtly cuisine and neighbouring principalities of the 18th century.
By the Middle Ages, asparagus was sought after as a cure for gout and in more recent years, it was also recognised as an extremely healthy vegetable known for its stress-relieving properties. Today an "asparagus treatment" or Spargelkur is one of the most pleasant medicines money can buy.
A culinary vow
White spears of asparagus start to sprout from around the middle of April to 24 June and visitors can watch asparagus growers harvest the vegetable or even help. Lively asparagus festivals are also held in towns along both sides of the route where you can try the delicious dishes made from freshly harvested asparagus served up in local bars and taverns. The many nicknames for asparagus – royal vegetable, spears of spring air, edible ivory – are a testament to the fascination that it continues to inspire amongst lovers of fine foods.
Asparagus and wine
Whether white, green or light purple in colour, springtime meals would just not be the same without asparagus and a glass of fine wine. This is where local Baden wine comes in. With a bouquet ideally suited to asparagus, the two are a match made in heaven. Who ever would have thought that asparagus and wine would go so well together? Whether you come for the asparagus season or the wine harvest, the Baden Asparagus Route has plenty to offer throughout the year.
Baden Asparagus Route
Length: approximately 136 km
Theme: Baden asparagus
Bruchsal: Baroque palace, largest asparagus market in Europe
Hockenheim: Formula 1, DTM, inline skating school
Karlsruhe: palace, museums
Rastatt: largest asparagus farm in Germany
Reilingen: asparagus and tobacco trail
Schwetzingen: palace, mosque
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