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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Germany series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential information about Germany, German culture and German people. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 17 - The White Asparagus Season.
Do you like white vegetables, or weißes Gemüse? Among a group of other white vegetables such as mushrooms, or Pilze, and cucumbers, or Gurken, there is a special white vegetable that can only be enjoyed for a short period of time. While some vegetables can be bought at supermarkets all year round, the white asparagus season, or die weiße Spargelsaison, lasts just two months each year—from the end of April to the end of June.
Asparagus, or Spargel has historically been a popular vegetable! The ancient Greeks had an appreciation for asparagus, though they used it as a remedy rather than as a food. The Romans, on the other hand, grew asparagus for eating purposes, and it was probably these Romans who brought asparagus to Germany.
A good thing about asparagus is that if you buy tasty ones, you don’t need a lot of side dishes to go with it. Grab a couple of potatoes or Kartoffeln, add some great sauce, and you’re good to go. Admittedly, Germans sometimes find peeling white asparagus bothersome. If you don’t peel them well enough, white asparagus can turn out chewy and end up tasting woody.
That's why sometimes Germans prefer the other type of asparagus—green asparagus, or grüner Spargel. Unlike white asparagus, green asparagus takes minimal work, requiring just a little peeling at the bottom of the shaft. On top of that, green asparagus tastes somewhat tangier and is also healthier for you, containing more vitamins than white asparagus! It turns green because it doesn't grow covered in soil, like the white variant does, but in fresh air, which is something that many German people like about green asparagus.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Which asparagus do you like more, white or green?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com! Until next time!