Wild Garlic – Interesting Facts

Wild garlic, also known as ramson, is strongly reminiscent of garlic in taste and smell. No wonder, since, like garlic, it is a species of the onion genus, along with spring onion and chives. Wild garlic can only be harvested for around two weeks each year. As soon as it begins to flower, it begins to lose its flavour. Its distinctive taste is particularly well suited for soup, a bold herb quark or a hearty wild garlic pesto. And wild garlic has a host of health benefits too.

 

Food Facts Food Facts

Wild garlic

Class

Allium

Nutrients

allicin, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, essential oils

Season

available from March, depending on weather

Storage

store cool, dark and damp

Shelf life

up to 2 weeks in the fridge, several months if frozen

Allium

Wild Garlic – Harvest and Storage

Wild garlic blooms, depending on the weather, from March to April. Aside from lilies of the valley, which it shares visual similarities with, wild garlic is one of the early signs of spring in the forest. The forest ground provides wild garlic with optimal conditions to grow in: a thick layer of foliage and plenty of shade from the tree canopy. Wild garlic prefers damp, humus-rich roil, and presented with these conditions can cover an entire forest ground. Commercial cultivation of wild garlic is very difficult due to its specific environmental requirements.

Wild garlic is best when used fresh. The green leaves only last a few days in the fridge, but with this handy trick you can increase their shelf life to up to two weeks: put the wild garlic in an inflated freezer bag with a few drops of water and store it closed in the fridge. This method can also be used to freeze wild garlic. Frozen at maximum -18° this will prolong its freshness for several months. You can also use wild garlic to make a delicious wild garlic pesto, which also prolongs its shelf life.

Wild Garlic – Preparation

Wild garlic can be used raw or cooked as an ingredient in warm dishes. However, if you are harvesting the wild garlic yourself, proceed with caution. It is easy to mistake the herb for its poisonous lookalikes - the lily of the valley, autumn crocus or arum. Make sure to wash wild garlic thoroughly, as fox tapeworm can frequently be found on its leaves. Once you have established that it is indeed wild garlic and cleaned it, it can be used in almost any recipe of your choice.

Wild garlic pesto is a classic choice, which is easy to make and a delicious topping for bread, pastries or with meat and fish. With the addition of parmesan and pine nuts it is transformed into an even more exquisite culinary treat. Wild garlic butter is just as easy to make and tastes great on bread or with meat. For those who need something warm after a long walk in the fresh spring air, wild garlic soup is a good choice. Whether clear or with cream, with meat or with fish, the possibilities are as diverse as they are unusual.

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Wild Garlic Recipes

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