Sometimes to get a real feel or flavor for a town doesn’t always mean just visiting ancient sites, wandering around medieval churches, or even checking out an imposing castle fortress. Sometimes, it’s the food that will give you the most authentic feel for a place.
Graben-Neudorf, a town that’s been around since the 5th or 6th century A.D., does have some historical sites to see. How could it not, it’s between Mannheim and Karlsruhe; and the place does have remnants of an Ancient Roman Road that’s still visible after almost two millennia.
But, it’s a vegetable that makes the town truly famous. What veggie is that you ask? Asparagus. No, really, I’m not kidding.
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Growing season in this part of Baden-Württemberg for green or white asparagus is in the Spring from April to June. You’ll find this little respected veggie on menus (and on the tables of everyday homes) across the region.
Any German cook worth their weight in salt knows that lemon juice is added to the white variety to keep its white color and sugar is added to the water for both varieties to reduce any bitterness. Yes, this is the “REAL” Germany — alive and well on dinner tables in the town of Graben-Neudorf.
So important is this vegetable (and was once known as the King’s Vegetable) that Graben-Neudorf lies on the Badische Spargelstraße, the Asparagus Road that passes along many area attractions through the Baden countryside.
That would be including many monument protected houses and the old Protestant Church. After the Orleans War with France in 1688, most of the village and the town’s castle was destroyed.
Now, the village that once had only 42 residents left after the Thirty Years’ War in 1648, is a thriving agricultural town and surrounded by nature parks with large towering Oak trees that make the best shade for a picnic. Just don’t forget to pack an asparagus dish! ;-)