Jakobs Höfe, Asparagus & Pumpkin Farm, Beelitz

Two years is the length of time t it took me to concede that “White asparagus is not that bad.”  I would go as far as to say: “It is rather good.

“For the last couple of springs, I would encounter mountains and mountains of the stuff, swollen and pale – looking like a sick relative of my beloved green asparagus and turn my nose up at them.  I would scan the corners of the stand, be it at the supermarket or an outdoor market until I would spot a few bundles of the green stuff, usually imported from Greece or Spain.

What made me change my mind?  A plate of asparagus, boiled potatoes and schnitzel at the Ritz.  Ravenous after my Athens flight with EasyJet (why did Stelios call it ‘Easy’ I wonder, is it tongue in cheek? Is it so that when you are ranting like a mad person in your head, about the injustice of paying the same price you would pay a ‘civilized’ carrier, one that doesn’t make you queue ad infinitum, the word ‘easy’ can continually bait you?  Yes, I would fly another carrier, any other carrier, except wouldn’t you know it ‘easy’ jet is the only one that continues to fly to Athens from Berlin.)

A meal at the Ritz will make most things palatable, they even gussy up the lemon half with a bit of yellow gauze (to keep the pips from dropping out when you squeeze the lemon, since you ask).  €30 is what that plate of food cost.  ‘Beelitz’ asparagus is what it said on the menu.  Beelitz and its asparagus seems to be to Berliners what Yorkshire and its rhubarb seems to be to Londoners.  I have journeyed to Yorkshire and strained my ears with the rest of the rhubarb tourists listening for the rhubarb squeak.  It seemed reasonable to me that I should travel to Beelitz and see white asparagus in  the stalk.After spending some time poking around on www.beelitzerspargel.de, I settled on Jacobs Hof.  I bundled hubby and daughter off into the car and 45 minutes later we were staring at a 2 story inflatable asparagus spear with a big grin pasted on its face. We made our way to the restaurant and were asked if we had a reservation – ‘Eh…? To eat asparagus in the middle of nowhere?” I thought?  But the lady wasn’t off her rocker, it was buzzing in there.  True most people were over 70 but they were having a grand old-time.  They found us a table.  We ordered asparagus with potatoes and ham (€12.50) with hollandaise sauce.  The asparagus was dreamy, the potatoes were incredibly flavourful and the ham was, good sliced ham.  The hollandaise sauce was from a carton, I think it almost always is here, except for at the Ritz but even there it was more like a mayonnaise than an hollandaise.  To be honest, even that didn’t sully the asparagus.  It was good.  So good that I bought some and made them with homemade hollandaise a few days later. Like most farms in and around Berlin, this one has a play area for children complete with sand and a bouncy castle and a petting zoo with ponies, pigs, goats and even a couple of peacocks.  I am still buying green asparagus, it’s more versatile than white and one of my favourite ways to prepare it is grilled, but I no longer give the white stuff wide birth.  Which makes me think, disliking something is more about ignorance than anything else.



  1. says

    My favorite part of this post is your last sentence. Because it holds true for so many things in life.
    Also, even though I am German, I always found the obsession my country has with the white kind a bit hilarious given the fact that, as you stated, the sauce its served with is of so low quality (even at my parents house unless I make it)!

    • says

      Yes – I must say that I am at a loss as to why they wouldn’t want to go that extra mile and make an hollandaise. These days you can just make it with hot melted butter drizzled into a food processor. It takes all of 3 minutes!

  2. Paulina Bembel says

    Talking about asparagus, i just bought a bunch of the green one but is as thin as cigarettes and very long. Funny that i found it on a veg stall in Holborn, walking from the Employment Tribunal, where we (my college group) spend morning observing a couple of cases, hence the topic we talk about at the Human Resources. One thing very interesting, other very yummy.

      • Paulina Bembel says

        Great, i’m off to San Francisco for a week. But i’ll be back on 16/06. My college group and i are going to compete against american colleges, in cooking of course, more details later. x

  3. says

    Ooh, I’ll swap you! I just did a post about asparagus too. We went to Winkelmann-Buschmann Spargelhof, Klaistow. It was a great place, and I bought some asparagus and to be honest, I have never really liked the white stuff that much before, much preferring the green, but it was so much nicer from the farm. I’ve bought the *same* stuff from the supermarket from the same farm and it just isn’t as good, so I wonder how long it is in storage before it goes on sale.

    Here’s my post: http://fionagray.blogspot.de/2012/05/for-love-of-asparagus.html

  4. says

    Hi! I am Anna Rae Gwarjanski, a writer and photographer for an American international travel magazine, Alpine Living. We’re featuring Spain in our next issue, and one of the stories I’m working on is on Spanish white asparagus. I read on your blog that you have eaten white asparagus before, and I was hoping you could help me with my story by answering a few questions…

    I know the difference between white and green asparagus is in how it is grown, but how does it taste different?

    Have you heard of Spanish white asparagus? Is it different than German white asparagus? Would you say green or white asparagus is more popular in Europe?

    Anything else you would like to add would be helpful as well!

    Thank you,
    Anna Rae


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