McDonald’s gives Germans what they really want: the Spargel Burger
The Germans love asparagus - everyone knows that. They love it so much that asparagus season is one of the highlights of the German calendar. In homage to the nation's favourite vegetable, McDonald’s has introduced a "Spargel Burger" to a number of its German restaurants.
The Spargel Burger
The Germans’ love of asparagus is well known across the four corners of the globe. Every year, from the middle of April until June 24, Germany celebrates asparagus season (Spargelzeit). During this period, Germany’s favoured white asparagus is harvested all over the country (and imported by the truck-load from abroad). The love for asparagus in Germany is so strong that restaurants and food stalls will often have a special menu devoted to the delicious white vegetable.
This year, McDonald’s has decided to come up with its own asparagus creation and has introduced the “Big Spargel Hollandaise” burger to a number of its 1.500 German restaurants. According to the McDonald's website, this creation is "a real burger innovation", containing a beef patty, cheddar, salad, crispy bacon, hollandaise and white asparagus tips.
The burger has been met with mixed reactions: while some people expressed joy at the creation, others have labelled it “perverse” and questioned whether hollandaise sauce is an acceptable condiment for a burger. Despite their differences, most people agreed that the burger reflected Germany’s obsession with white asparagus.
Germany's love for asparagus
If the fact that Germany celebrates the harvesting of asparagus isn’t enough to convey how much Germans love the vegetable, maybe the fact that they call the end of the season on June 24 “Spargelsilvester”, or “Asparagus New Year”, is. Traditionally, June 24 is Saint John’s Day, which is usually celebrated with fireworks and bonfires, which doubles as a fitting tribute to the end of Spargelzeit.
Asparagus is harvested all over the country, and is a staple German food. It is grown extensively in the states of Lower Saxony, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. However, asparagus is perhaps most closely tied to the town of Beelitz in Brandenburg. The town usually hosts a festival to mark the start of the asparagus season, even crowning a Spargel King and a Spargel Queen.
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