The Weekly Shop: White asparagus, Pork Chops and a Day Trip to Heidelberg

Spare ribs with a knife stuck through them
Marinated spare ribs at Das Treibhaus

Well.  What a week that was, filled with long walks in the sunshine and some proper treats in terms of food – the former, thankfully, going some way to balance out the latter.  The Easter weekend we celebrated with friends visiting from London and Berlin, which obviously required a proper cake-fest, and one that I was able to partake in enthusiastically thanks to a bag of gluten-free flour (Pamela’s, miraculous stuff – I wish I could find a dealer outside the US) that I discovered in back of my wildly disorganised baking cupboard.  Sunday was mostly spent gnawing on the best spare ribs in town at Das Treibhaus – always a pleasant way to spend an afternoon; and after a long walk on Easter Monday, my husband and I stopped at Café Eden by the Nerotal Park in Wiesbaden for lunch.  I demolished a substantial and very more-ish plate of goat’s cheese, fig and dry-cured ham (pictured above) and a lip-smackingly sweet Rhabarberschorle (rhubarb spritzer – if you’ve not tried one, you’re missing out!).  It’s truly lovely sitting at the end of the park there in the Spring sunshine; the food’s a little on the expensive side but it’s far and away the best salad I’ve had here so I’d say it’s worth the extra pennies if you fancy a lunchtime treat.

I came away with a good haul at the Wiesbaden Farmer’s Market on Wednesday and staggered home under the weight of, amongst other things, our first white asparagus of the season, some wonderful, waxy new potatoes and the most enormous and flavoursome pork chops I’ve ever had the fortune to purchase.  We’ve been eating rather well at home the last couple of weeks, now I’ve (a) worked out how to get a decent dinner on the table when there’s a 6 month old baby to bath and put to bed, and (b) discovered Diana Henry, a Northern Irish food writer whose love of food and approach to cooking is an almost exact reflection of my own.  If you’ve not heard of her and wouldn’t mind a plate of good food on a weeknight but don’t have much to make it then I’d highly recommend checking out the recipes on her website.  (She also writes a column for The Telegraph.)

Yesterday I joined a small band of fellow blogging folk in Heidelberg for a hike up to the 500-year-old castle (home to the world’s largest wine barrel) and a generally very pleasant wander around town in the sunshine.  We enjoyed lunch in the centre of the Altstadt at Heidelberg’s oldest café, Knösel, where I ate some rather expensive but very tasty white asparagus (with ham, potatoes and the lightest of Hollandaises – almost frothily so; pictured above, ca. 17,00€) whilst everyone else devoured sizeable, wafer-thin Flammkuchen, salmon steaks with spinach, and Pfannkuchen stuffed with asparagus and shrimps.  I had to leave the group early due to the 10kg of baby I had strapped to my front (which is presumably why I feel today like I’ve taken part in a marathon wearing a lead suit) and therefore missed out on a visit to the Student Prison and the sampling of frozen yoghurt, but it was a great day spent in a beautiful, vibrant town with some lovely folk.

If you’d like to have read about the experiences of the other expats that I met yesterday, then have a browse of the links below.  My new British and American internet friends live in Mannheim, Frankfurt and further afield, write about education, travel, indie rock and everything in between, and their blogs are all well worth a read.

Indie Rock Kid, a music-loving Mancunian in Mannheim
Sherbert and Sparkles, a British Japanese video games translator in Frankfurt
Steven Glassman, a Floridian in Regensburg who writes about music and travel
Mrs Ralf, who shares her reflections on living and teaching in Germany
Beer Time with Wagner, an American political science student in Heidelberg
Confuzzledom, an English translator in Karlsruhe.

Food News and Recipes from Germany…

German Substitutes for US Baking Ingredients
New Burgers in Frankfurt’s Bahnhofviertel at Der Fette Bulle
★ A Community-supported Brewery in Berlin – and Berlin’s Growing Beer Scene
German Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble Cake Recipe (in German)

…and further afield:

Argentinian waiters compete in their annual 3.2km race – carrying a full tray of drinks
★ Low in Calories, High in Wool: Knitted Comfort Food (via Swiss Miss)
★ Tofu Varieties: What’s the Difference?
Top Chefs Reveal Their Biggest Mistakes.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed the Spring sunshine this week, and here’s to Spargelzeit!

Join the Conversation


  1. says: foodessen

    Sounds like you are enjoying Spargelzeit! I do wish I had joined you all in Heidelberg yesterday. Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to meet everyone another time 🙂

    1. It was such a lovely day and I was sad to leave early, so I hope we’ll be doing it again soon – it would be great if you could join in the next time 🙂

      And I LOVE Spargelzeit. My husband and I are currently in discussion about what would constitute an unreasonably quantity to eat in one sitting – and how often would be too often 😉

    1. Nrrrgh. Wish you’d been there as well – though the Mini Dietz totally made enough noise to make up for Pickles’ absence. NEXT TIME. And until the next time, we will have to do something else…

  2. says: Anne

    I really love the white Spargel here in Germany although initially I was a little surprised by it as am accustomed to the green variety in the UK (still possibly my favourite)! Thanks for the mention of Das Treibhaus – I hadn’t heard of it yet but will be sure to pop over to try out the ribs some time soon 🙂 I’ve also been to the Nerotal Cafe Eden a couple of times and been pleased with what I’ve had, even the homemade burger was nice and probably improved by the lovely weather, green surroundings and glass of white wine!

    1. I was a bit confused by Spargel to begin with as well; I eventually worked out I just had to think of it as another vegetable altogether, completely unrelated to green asparagus… and then I started to like it. And now I can’t get enough of it 🙂

      I’d been trying to keep the Treibhaus as a secret because it’s my favourite place in Wiesbaden, so whatever you do, don’t tell anyone 😉 Good to hear the burger at Eden is nice though – was a bit suspicious because of the ciabatta!

      1. says: Anne

        That’s a good idea… treat them as different veggies altogether!! Just want to add that the burger at Eden may not be as nice without the ciabatta (or other bread) – I just remembered reading that you are gluten intolerant. I think you would need a nice salad to go with the burger if you were to eat it ‘naked’, or it could be boring 😉
        ps. On my blog I’ve invited you to take a little challenge (if you fancy), but could not figure out how to tag you or how to create a link – I’m such a novice at using wordpress!

  3. That’s so great that you guys all were able to meet up! I think Bev tagged me in something on twitter about that, but meeting up is just not doable for me right now, sadly. I would’ve loved to meet you all! 🙁

    I love Spargelzeit! But honestly, I love them just plain….no suave no butter. 🙂 My German husband thinks I’m nuts!

  4. says: bavariansojourn

    Love the sound of that walk! I also love the sound of that salad, and I am always partial to a rhabarberschorle 🙂

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