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07 Dec 2017
Where the celery tastes like vanilla
Harald Gasser has specialized in the cultivation of old vegetables. At first, he was ridiculed as a “dark green fool”, but now Michelin Star chefs are begging for his curious tubers and roots.

We are on the Aspinger farm in Barbiano, above Ponte Gardena at the entrance to the Val Gardena. Three men stand in front of a wooden shed. Before them a sits small box on a chopping block. Again and again, the men take seemingly dried-up bulbs and shriveled-looking roots out of the box. Again and again, they stick pieces of them into their mouths. It is the beginning of December, late afternoon. You can see all the way down into the Isarco valley. The three are Hannes Gasser, Armin Mairhofer and Hannes Pignater. Gasser grew up on the Aspinger farm. He has been growing vegetables on the farm for over ten years. Mairhofer is Executive Chef at the ADLER Balance in Ortisei. Pignater runs the kitchen at the ADLER Mountain Lodge at the Alpe di Siusi. They came to Barbiano to see what Gasser had recently harvested.
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