White Asparagus from Rogacki, Berlin
It's white asparagus season in Germany, so I made sure to grab some here at Rogacki in Berlin today (145 Wilmersdorfer Strasse, 343-825-0). I'm still not sure if I understand what the big deal is about these things though. Sure, it was a bit more tender and sweeter than the usual green asparagus, but they lacked that signature asparagus taste that I love so much (in fact, a few of these stems were a bit bitter toward the base). My super-thick butter-topped serving today came with a side of potatoes, which filled me right up, all without necessarily putting a smile on my face. And yes, these things still gave me asparagus pee.
I was also a bit puzzled as to why Bourdain loved this place so much in that Berlin episode. Sure, it was a visually cool deli - there were so many counters around that I practically got lost trying to figure it out (no one spoke English, so I had to rely on my broken high school German and some finger pointing and nodding). But the food just wasn't a huge hit with me. I tried some of that headcheese stuff and it tasted like it looked: small cuts of meat all held together by a clear gelatin. Maybe I needed to try more things here - there was definitely no shortage of selection.