The Austrians are very into seasonal ingredients: for three to four weeks at a time, the current ingredient is found on every menu. It is used to make soups, sauces, seasoning, desserts, etc. Right now the big seasonal ingredient is spargel (asparagus), especially white asparagus. It’s so popular that there are road side stands set up specifically to sell it, complete with signs pointing the way to the stand.
Earlier this afternoon we explored the Volksgarten with the goal of ultimately visiting the Hofburg. We never did make it to the Hofburg but we did have a nice lunch at Cafe Volksgarten Pavillon, located in a corner of the park. For my lunch I had — you guessed it — spargelcremesuppe.
It was creamy but not overly thick, and tasted strongly of asparagus with a hint of citrus. I enjoyed the soup and I know my kids eat it at school, but I am not sure if I want to learn to make it. I know that we can get white asparagus in Virginia, but I’ve heard it’s woody and not as good as that found in Europe. I might try two batches (one with green and one with white asparagus) to see if there is a considerable taste difference.