The amount of agricultural land in the Netherlands devoted to the cultivation of asparagus edged up to 3,807 hectares in 2017 while the total harvest was 12% up at 20,800 tonnes, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
The country’s asparagus growing area has increased by 61% over the past 10 years, while production has increased by 40% in the same period. A full 62% of the asparagus fields are in southern Limburg province, while neighbouring Noord-Brabant has a 33% share.
The Netherlands may produce a lot of asparagus for such a small country but is ranked only fifth in Europe. With 22,000 hectares devoted to asparagus, Germany is the largest, followed by Spain, with 12,000 hectares.
White asparagus grown in the southern Dutch region known as the Brabantse Wal has been given official European Commission recognition as a protected regional product. The listing means only asparagus grown in the area using traditional methods can carry the label Brabantse Wal.
April and May are the big asparagus months in the Netherlands. Regarded as a delicacy, white asparagus is traditionally eaten with crumbled boiled egg, ham, boiled potatoes and a melted butter sauce.
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