Wild Garlic, pickled - Food Gypsy

The Wilds of Garlic

Published On May 24, 2011 | By Gypsy | Gastronomy, On The Street

Wild garlic, Ramsons (Allium ursinum), also known as buckrams, ramps, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear’s garlic or wild leek; is a wild relative of chives.

Tangy, bright with a delicate garlic flavor that does not overwhelm the pallet, wild garlic easily adopts other flavors and is naturally odorless after consumption.  It could be called “kissing garlic”

A spring favorite in Central Canada, harvested in shady woodlands and bogs, an illicit taste first for me this Victoria Day long weekend.

Lightly pickled in a solution of vinegar, salt and just a dash of sugar, we ate them like candy.

Wild garlic season is short, lasting only through the month of May making it a true delicacy, with amazing health properties — 30 per cent more magnesium and iron than and almost 17 times more manganese than domestic cousin.

It’s the number one choice for heart and cholesterol problems and other related circulatory disorders.  It is also used to ward off intestinal disorders and to protect from or reduce candida (yeast).

The Quebec government declared wild garlic an endangered species in 1995.  A Quebec resident caught with more than 50 bulbs faces a fine of between $500 and $20,000.  Across the boarder in Ontario, the plant is cultivated and harvested in great numbers and even sold at market, as it is not considered endangered.

This has lead to “black market” wild garlic. (shocking I know)

So, if approached by a someone lugging a hockey bag brimming with slick white bulbs, topped with bright green leaves saying “Pssssssttttt… hey buddy, you wanna’ buy some wild garlic?”   Beware.

He probably has a car trunk full of unpasteurized cheese too.

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About The Author

"Gypsy" is not my real name." A freelance food & travel writer & photographer based in Aylmer, Quebec. Corinna Horton trained at Le Cordon Bleu, spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn, and is currently between big, shiny kitchens as she focuses on family and what's next in this delicious life.

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