Dutch Language Blog

The First Asparagus Picking NK Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Culture, Dutch Vocabulary, News

Yesterday, the first Nederlands Kampioenschap (NK) (Dutch Championship) asperges steken (picking asparagus). Deelnemers (participants) from the twelve Dutch provinces competed on the aspergekwekerij (asparagus farm) Boereblij in Blaricum, province Noord-Holland (North Holland).

Last year, we covered the first NK tegenwindfietsen. The Dutch like to invent creative championships to compete against each other! 

Het Kampioenschap

Titus Galema from Marknesse, Flevoland won, and is now Nederlands Kampioen Asperge Steken. He picked 1,45 kg (ca. 3 lbs)

The deelnemers had 15 minutes to pick asperges on a strip of 80 meters (ca. 27 ft) of akker (field). The deelnemer that picks most asperges in weight in that time, wins. Besides the honor of receiving the title Nederlands Kampioen Asperge  (best asparagus picker of the Netherlands) for a year, the winner can also pick a Michelin restaurant of choice for a fancy dinner!

Mariëlle Bakker, organiser and host of the kampioenschap, says about the technique to be applied: “Een goede steker zoekt het kopje van de asperge, steekt dan in één keer onder de grond en trekt de asperge voorzichtig eruit” (a good picker looks for the head of the asparagus, picks then in one time underground and then carefully pulls the asparagus out).


White, green and purple asperges. The white ones are the most popular, and were the ones picked in this kampioenschap. (Image by Aceera BV at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY SA 3.0).

The challenge comes in time with the start of the aspergeseizoen (asparagus season). It is a very popular groente (vegetable) in the Netherlands, and there are many aspergegerechten (asparagus dishes) that the Dutch eat. How do we prepare asperges traditionally in the Netherlands? The kok (chef) in the video below can explain it quite well!

Here is a Dutch recipe you can follow to prepare Asperges à la Flamande, the traditional way with eggs and potatoes.

Het witte goud

Asperges are also called wit goud (white gold), because back in the day, asperges were extremely expensive. Also today, they are relatively expensive, but not that expensive anymore. Stil, they are known by that name!

Curious how to pick asperges? Watch it in this video:


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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


  1. Pete Swanson:

    The best place for Tegenwindfietsen is the afsluitdijk, going East to West. I was there several years ago on a bike and camping tour of Holland. We were cycling West to East, luckily, so in our case it was more like flying, without pedalling at all!