14.03.2014 18:33

Category: General

Collecting Wild Garlic Made Easy


Wild Garlic - A Vitamin Bomb

Wild Garlic - A Vitamin Bomb

The wild garlic (Allium ursinum), also called wood garlic or bear's garlic, is a wild relative of chives, onions and leeks. It is an absolute "Vitamin C-bomb", what we appreciate especially after a long winter. With respect to vitamin C - content , only rosehip, sea buckthorn and acerola surpass it.  It  also has many other phytochemicals that have antibacterial, blood cleansing, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, expectorant, the metabolism stimulating and general toning actions. Like this, it is a real power package of health-promoting ingredients!

The wild garlic prefers protected, moist, shady locations and can usually be found in mixed and deciduous forests, particularly near waterways. There it often forms a thick carpet, which is a wild garlic lover´s delight!

 

It can be collected from the first appearance of the small leaves up to the flowering stage. However, with age, the wild garlic looses it´s fine flavour and can taste a little too strong. Try for yourself, how long you  like the taste of the spicy leaves. When collecting, it is important to cut off only some leaves from a single plant, in order not to weaken it too much.

Please collect only as much wild garlic as you can really use!

Careful - Danger of Confusion:

Lili of the ValleyAutumn Crocus

Particularly in the early stages of growth, when no flowers are present, the leaves of wild garlic are similar to those of the poisonous lily of the valley and the also poisonous autumn crocus. However, there are some simple tests that can be used to avoid picking a poisonous leaf.

1. Wild garlic leaves grow bushy, the leaves of the lily of the valley on the other hand grow in pairs out of a thin stem. Autumn crocus in spring bears a thick seed pods between the leaves, so you can distinguish them from wild garlic very well.

2. Wild garlic leaves smell and taste strongly of garlic. It is enough to rub a piece of the leaf between your fingers, smell and and taste it. If the leaf does not smell of garlic, it is better to leave it where it grows!

3. My favourite test is the "snap test". If one folds a wild garlic leaf, it breaks with an audible "snap" apart. The leaves of the lily of the valley and autum crocus however, are very elastic. When folding them, no "snap" can be heard and they also do not break.

4. If we observe all these instructions and collect slowly and carefully, we avoid that the wrong leaves land in out basket.

With wild garlic you can make make mouth-watering dishes, like these Zucchini Spaghetti on Wild Garlic Pesto: