It’s March now, and spring is still months away. German winters are a shock—the sun rises after eight and sets before four, the streets smell like coal, everything is chapped. I know that we must endure eight more weeks of this Central European cloud cover and pallid false sun before the dam bursts, spring comes, and spargel, or white asparagus, appears in every supermarket, street-corner stand, and Sunday-dinner plate in the country.
When I moved to Germany in 2014—25 and without a plan—I had very little idea of what to expect from my new life in my temporary home, let alone of the things I’d eat and come to love. I remember one conversation I had with a friend a few weeks before I left.