"Do not forget Johanni: eat asparagus for seven weeks"

Asparagus - royal delicacy

Rheinhessen is one of the largest asparagus growing areas in Rhineland-Palatinate. Germany-wide (23,000 ha), Rhineland-Palatinate, with 1,300 ha of acreage, is only in 7th place.

The asparagus is originally a wild-growing poisonous plant of the Orient. But do not worry, not the asparagus itself, only the red berries of the asparagus dust are slightly toxic. He prefers sandy soil and sunny climate. The cultivation of the asparagus was done by the Romans. But it was not until the 16th century that asparagus came to Germany, France and Holland. He played less a role in nutrition, but rather as a medicinal plant in the field of natural medicine and in the field of light food. In 1539, the asparagus is described as an "expensive delicacy for sweetmouths." Since cultivation was difficult, it remained for a long time the royal vegetable of the rich.

The special thing about the Rhine-Hessian asparagus is the somewhat slower growth than in other regions of Germany. This makes it particularly rich in vitamins and nutrients and also slightly more intense in taste. Asparagus has never been grown on many fields in Rheinhessen, which, according to asparagus farmers, is ideal for cultivating bio-asparagus, as the soil is still free from asparagus pests.

Asparagus cultivation distinguishes the white (bleaching) asparagus and the green asparagus. The white asparagus is characterized by the fact that the asparagus is protected by earth dams and thus tastes a little more tender. When harvesting, the pole is stung below the ground. The green asparagus is the harvest above the soil. The green asparagus is actually easier to grow and harvest, but also more intense in taste. However, the green asparagus was increasingly displaced by the pale asparagus in the 19th century.

Asparagus is low in calories (17 Kcal / 100 g), rich in fiber, various vitamins and minerals. Asparagus preserves its typical taste with essential oils, aspartic acid and herbal ingredients. Asparagus has a detoxifying and draining effect on the body.

The asparagus can be harvested as the wine and only in the third year after planting. All in all, he stays at the same location for a period of 8 to 12 years and thus belongs to the permanent crops like vineyards or fruit trees. Due to its high climatic and economic requirements, it continues to be one of the special crops, just like viticulture.

Rheinhessen and the Palatinate are the two largest wine and asparagus growing areas in Rhineland-Palatinate. Overall, Rhineland-Palatinate is only 7th out of 23,000 ha of acreage in Germany with 1,300 ha. Asparagus cultivation has almost doubled in the last 10 years. Again, many small farms have abandoned the asparagus growing and large farms have increased immensely. An enterprise of the approximately 100 asparagus farmers based in Rheinhessen today builds on average 5 ha, 6 years ago it was just half. In Rheinhessen, Stadecken-Elsheim (60 ha), Ober-Hilbersheim (47 ha), Eich (46 ha), Ober-Flörsheim (37 ha) and Mainz (33 ha) are the largest asparagus-growing communities. In the past year, around 7,000 t of asparagus were stung in Rhineland-Palatinate, and 3,000 t are marketed via the Vereinigte Obstgenossenschaft in Ingelheim.

With up to three different slides over the Spargeldämmen is tried to pull the harvest ever further forward. The royal vegetables can then be harvested until June 24th. Unfortunately, there is no longer time since the asparagus plants have to recover for the coming year.

The asparagus has gone through many hands until it arrives at the consumer fresh and crisp. The asparagus harvest in the field is purely manual work. He is prewashed at home in the yard. Continue to the sorting machine. Here he is thoroughly brushed, washed, clean cut and finally, sorted into the different trading classes. To preserve the freshness and quality of the asparagus, it is immediately cooled to 2 ° C after sorting. 20 minutes later he is ready to buy.

And what to drink asparagus: Of course, a dry Silvaner, but also a light Pinot Blanc goes well with the royal vegetables.

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