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Wild Garlic


Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic
© LoggaWiggler / Pixabay.com / 2014 / CC0 1.0


Wild Garlic is a perennial European herb that grows from a very small bulb.

It has a chive-like taste, only stronger and with a hint of garlic. The smell, though, is more clearly that of garlic.

It is not cultivated, but rather gathered from the wild, where the plants will spread out to cover wide areas, particularly shady, damp ones.

Wild garlic shoots

Wild garlic shoots
© Hans Braxmeier / Pixabay.com / 2015 / CC0 1.0



Wild garlic grows to a height of 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm), with two broad leaves. It produces white star-shaped flowers from April to June. The leaves start to turn yellow and die back as the flowers produce small berries.

The leaves should be gathered young, before the plant has started to flower. The bulb underground can be used, but it is so small that it's more often just ignored.

Cows shouldn't eat wild garlic as the smell will affect their milk.

It is similar to ramps in North America, but the flavour of ramps tends more to that of onion.

Wild garlic flowers

Wild garlic flowers
© WikimediaImages / Pixabay.com / 2013 / CC0 1.0



Wild garlic flowers

Wild garlic flowers
© Jeannette / Pixabay.com / 2015 / CC0 1.0

Cooking Tips

Cut out the tougher central stems. To use it raw (see health cautions below), you can mix it in salads with other greens, and add the leaves to sandwiches, or to soups and sauces at the end of cooking.

When used in cooking, the leaves should not be exposed to high heat: add at the end of cooking.

Some people like to use the buds and the flowers in salad.

Wild garlic buds

Wild garlic buds
© Nachar / pixabay.com / 2016 / CC0 1.0

Nutrition

Wild garlic is sometimes mistaken for Meadow Saffron, Lily of the Valley, and Autumn Crocus, which are poisonous.


Some people advise that all wild garlic should be cooked: there could be tapeworm eggs or liver flukes on them, which you won't be able to see.

Wild garlic pesto

Wild garlic pesto
© Rita Eisenkolb / pixabay.com / 2015 / CC0 1.0




Storage Hints

Dried leaves lose a great deal of the scent. They are better frozen.


History Notes

Native to Europe.

Language Notes

The English word "Ramson" comes from the old English, "hramsan." Another of its names, "Bear's Garlic", comes from a common belief that bears would eat it in the spring.


Field of wild garlic

Field of wild garlic
© Hans Braxmeier / Pixabay.com / 2015 / CC0 1.0

See also:

Herbs

Angelica; Angostura Bark; Bay Leaf; Borage; Chamomile; Chervil; Chives; Comfrey; Curry Leaves; Dill; Dried Herbs; Epazote; Filé; Folium Indicum; Garlic Greens; Green Garlic; Gruit; Herbes Salées; Herbs; Hops; Jacob's Ladder; Lady's Bedstraw; Lavender; Loroco; Lovage; Marjoram; Mexican Tarragon; Mint; Mugwort Powder; Oregano; Pennywort; Potherbs; Rolling Mincer; Rosemary; Rue; Sachet Bags; Sage; Salad Burnet; Sarsaparilla; Sassafrass; Savoury; Screw Pine Leaves; Shiso Leaves; Silphium; Sorrel; Stevia; Sweet Cicely; Tarragon; Thyme; Trefoil; Valerian; Wild Garlic; Winter Purslane; Wormwood; Yarrow; Yomogi

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Also called:

Bear's Garlic; Garlic Leaf; Ramson; Allium ursinum (Scientific Name); Ail des ours, Ail sauvage (French); Baerlauch, Bärlauch, Ramsen, Waldknoblauch, Wilder Knoblauch (German); Aglio orsino, Erba orsina (Italian); Ajo de oso, Ajo silvestre (Spanish); Ramusomuzu (Japanese)

Citation

Oulton, Randal. "Wild Garlic." CooksInfo.com. Published 10 July 2005; revised 26 June 2009. Web. Accessed 12/15/2017. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/wild-garlic>.

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