On the 23rd of May, 2015, the street food scene in Berlin found a new playground. Organized by the Contemporary Food Lab, “Spargel International” was an international street food festival featuring asparagus. The festival drew chefs from around the world with one mission: combine Germany’s favorite vegetable with a bit of magic from their own culinary culture to cook up something delicious. The idea was so popular (no fewer than 17,000 people wanted to attend, according to Facebook!) that the first attempt was shut down by the police. It’s a fact: what Germans have for asparagus is no less than true love.
Asparagus cream soup. Asparagus with hollandaise sauce. With Black Forest ham, schnitzel, smoked salmon… or just brown butter. Every year in Germany, it’s the same story. From the moment spring arrives, every restaurant eagerly transforms their offerings into an “asparagus only menu”.
With “Spargel International”, CFL decided to cross both culinary borders and physical ones. This year, the population of Berlin had the opportunity to discover seven ways to cook, season and marry asparagus with ingredients from other cultures. But they also found stories from people who left their countries — sometimes willingly, like Jordi from Spain, and sometimes by fleeing from war and becoming refugees, like Abo Malek from Syria.
When street food takes on politics, German asparagus can been seen as a torch of tolerance between cultures.
Music by Akowa
Learn more about the great projects of the Contemporary Food Lab on their website If you’re interested in Food Culture, you should definitely check it out !
For this video, the CFL supported us by taking a part of the budget production. They had no influence on the content of this video whatsoever.
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