White asparagus grown in a southern Dutch region known as the Brabantse Wal has been given official European Commission recognition as a protected regional product. Brabantse Wal asparagus has been added to the official register of over 1,300 regional agricultural products, bringing the total number of Dutch items on the list to 15.
The listing means only asparagus grown in the area using traditional methods can carry the label Brabantse Wal. The area around Bergen op Zoom was the centre of Dutch asparagus growing until the 1950s. The amount of land used to cultivate asparagus in the Netherlands has gone up 60% since 2000, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS. The Dutch traditionally eat white asparagus with crumbled boiled egg, ham, boiled potatoes and a melted butter sauce.