Tasting Asparagus Season in the Val d’Adige
02 Maggio 2016 -
DI silvia famà
igh in the alpine valley of Italy lies the peaceful greenery of the Val d'Adige characterized by immense natural beauty, breathtaking views, bountiful orchids and numerous vineyards. This area, is surrounded by the the snow capped Alps to the north, the imposing Dolomites to the east, and by the rich blue of Lake Garda to its south. Hidden in the midst of theVal d'Adige is an area known in Italian as the 'triangolo degli asparagi,' the triangle of the asparagus, an area producing some of the finest quality asparagus in the world and specifically a white asparagus called the Margaret. Every year, three small towns, Terlano, Settequerce and Vilpiano celebrate the flavors of their homegrown asparagus up through the end of May. This is the season of the white asparagus which hibernates in the cold soil of the South Tyrol all winter and sprouts in spring when the long hours of sunshine warm the earth. Known as the Margaret in honor of the last ruler of the old region of the Tyrol, who lived in the ancient castle high above Terlano, this vegetable was once referred to as 'edible ivory' and was so expensive that only the aristocrats could afford to eat it. Today the Margaret is prized for its particularly delicate flavor. The white asparagus is also quite light with only 20 calories per 100 grams. It boasts detoxifying properties and contains important vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, C, and minerals like potassium, phosphorous, and calcium.
The tradition of celebrating the season of the white asparagus in Terlano began back in the 19th century, when the citizens of the small town came out to taste their prized local vegetable. Today the tradition continues every spring with local restaurants offering special dinners where locals and tourists alike can taste traditional local recipes using the Margaret accompanied by a chilled glass of the fruity white wine called Vino d'Asparagi Doc made with sauvignon grapes from Terlano by the local winery Cantina Terlano.
Visitors can also enjoy a guided tour of the asparagus farms along with wine tasting (6 euros per person for the tour, 10 euros including the tasting of three wines). Otherwise, walking culinary tours are also available offering a delicious lunch menu of dishes made with the white asparagus (65 euros per person), or from May 7th-28th there will be carriage rides around the countryside with stops at local restaurants (85 euros per person).
For more information or to sign up for tours contact firstname.lastname@example.org phone (39)335 8210042. For the culinary walking tour and carriage rides contact Associazione Turistica Terlano at (39) 0471 257165.