Yes, spring has sprung. I know this because it’s warm enough to wear thongs (flip flops) but not so warm that Croatians approve (see this post for background). Absolutely every tree is covered in blossoms, and I’m mainlining Clarytyne. The sky is blue, the breeze is crisp, and everyone is happy.
But mostly I know it’s spring because asparagus is in season.
Australians won’t understand this, but asparagus is kind of A Big Deal in Europe. They announce the beginning of asparagus season the way we might announce the beginning of… I don’t know what, actually. We’ve more or less lost track of seasons in Australia.
But here, every restaurant worth its salt is offering an asparagus menu. Asparagus risotto, asparagus soup, asparagus with asparagus and some asparagus on the side.
In the main market, canny women sell bunches of asparagus at eye watering prices. And so many kinds! There’s the thin, long, snakey kind that is always presented in a bucket of water – like upright eels. Then there are bunches of incredibly fat stalks, as big as a jumbo pencil, like a bunch of babies’ arms. Of course, there’s the more usual variety, normal sized asparagus in normal bunches. But honestly, how much asparagus can you really eat??
Lest you think this is a Croatian thing, when C and I were walking through Germany four years ago, we noticed the same thing. Spargel pizza, spargel pasta, spargel, spargel everywhere!
Honestly, it’s not spring at all. It’s spargel time.
*Eagle eyed readers will have noticed there was no post yesterday, in part because I spent most of the day getting drunk, and the idea of writing a post while falling asleep on the train home did not appeal. So today, two posts! For all of our sins.*