Moselle. Do you know when and where to find wild asparagus around Metz?

Moselle. Do you know when and where to find wild asparagus around Metz?
Moselle. Do you know when and where to find wild asparagus around Metz?

It’s been a few weeks since wild garlic lovers left, baskets on their arms, to harvest around Metz. As with mushrooms, they don’t like to divulge where they are picked. The lucky ones have some at the bottom of the garden. In Metz-Vallières, we find them at the edge of a private field, not far from the stream. At the entrance to Saint-Julien-lès-Metz, wild garlic grows along the road, on the side of Bellecroix hill.

Around Metz, connoisseurs have their “corner”, generally near a stream, in the undergrowth. We would find them in abundance at the Fond Saint-Martin ponds, a few spots in Montois-la-Montagne, or even on the banks of the Châtel-Saint-Germain stream. Started in March, the season is about to end…

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You have to keep your eyes open…

But while wild garlic finishes blooming into small white flowers, another wild and edible plant has appeared in the area: wild asparagus. Like garlic, it likes the edge of the woods and humid environments. To find it, you have to have an eye. It grows like a grass and its stem, which ends in flower buds shaped like ears of wheat, has a soft green color that easily blends in with the rest of the landscape. In addition, it generally grows in scattered order and it takes time to make a bouquet.

Wild asparagus is only edible at the beginning of its life, when the growth is still soft. Above 30 cm, the plant, also called the ornithogale, hardens. In our regions, it grows from April to May: so it’s time to pick it!

Pan-fried, with vinaigrette, or in an omelette

Matthieu from Messin took advantage of a sunny day at the beginning of May to do his picking along a stream in Châtel-Saint-Germain, from the place where he usually harvests his wild garlic. He picked an armful of wild asparagus. At home, he washed them and removed the harder bottom of the stems, leaving only the flower stalk and ten centimeters of stem. Then he fried them with butter, not too long to maintain the crunch. A little turn of the mill, a pinch of salt, it was ready. Some prefer to eat it with a vinaigrette, or in an omelette.

Wild asparagus, with a very slight bitterness, a sweet taste and this little fatty side, is a very delicate dish. We take the time to taste it to appreciate its qualities… and its rarity.

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