It’s “Spargel” season and this year, we at Food Explorers combined our biennial Spargel Expedition with a “Spargel & Strauss” trip to an ostrich farm.
The ostrich is the world’s largest and heaviest bird. It can’t fly, but with its strong legs, it can run at speeds of up to 70 km/hour! Ostrich meat is a red meat and tastewise, it very much resembles beef. Nutritionally, it is protein-rich, high in iron, but low in cholesterol, fat and calories. USDA lab research has shown that ostrich meat is even lower in fat grams than skinless white chicken or turkey meat!
Dinner Expedition Part 1 – The Tour
Mr Lars Krüger, the owner of Spargelzelt Walldorf and Straußenhof Walldorf, arranged for a colleague to walk us through the processing of Spargel before dinner. Our tour included a pitstop at his ostrich farm, where we met and learned about the birds and their domestication.
Dinner Expedition Part 2 – Dinner
For dinner, we could choose from three menus showcasing the best from Mr Krüger’s farms. Our culinary journey began with “Spargel-Erdbeer Salat” and a sampler platter of “Geräucherte Straußenwurst und Straußenschinken” served with some fresh baguette. The star of our main course was “Krügers Klassiker”, one pound (approximately 500g) of Spargel served with new potatoes and Sauce Hollandaise. Traditionally, Spargel is accompanied by cooked ham or “paniertes Schweineschnitzel‘, but as this is a “Spargel & Strauß” evening, we could also opt for “Straußenfilet an Apfel und grünen Pfeffer”. The ostrich steaks were well-prepared – juicy and tender, with a pinkish center. Our dinner ended on a sweet note with “Karamellisierte Spargelspitzen mit Vanilleeis”.
Overall, it was an interesting combination of tour and dinner. Aside from harvesting, the processing of Spargel is pretty much automated. We picked up many interesting details about the ostrich, and about sustainable ostrich farming.
Ostrich meat is sold whole year round in Straußenhof Walldorf’s Straußenlädl. In 2019, Spargelzelt Walldorf is open till September 29, so I plan to return to try the meat with other seasonal vegetables.
Remember to have ample cash on you because the restaurant and the Straußenlädl “Ostrich shop” do not have facilities to accept payment by debit/credit cards.
Straußenhof Walldorf, Rennbahnstraße 50, 69190 Walldorf
Straußenlädl opening hours: Thursdays and Fridays 14.00-17.00 hours
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