In search of Natures Perfect Food

 

Wildgarlic2

Ok folks, let’s take a little break from the turkey and trout action, shall we, and talk about one of my favourite spring-time delicacies. 

You’ve heard about nature’s perfect fish, well here is nature’s perfect food…Wild Garlic baby!!!!!!!!!! 

If you’ve never tried wild garlic, or wild leaks and Ail de Bois to some..then you just haven’t lived! 

I would like to thank trout enthusiast and my new best friend Grant for the awesome garlic gift bag this am..but whatever you do, don’t ask where he found it! 

Even though I grew up in the heart of wild garlic country, I was never lucky enough to actually find that magical garlic patch. 

As you may know, they are a special and fragile plant so if you do stumble upon a patch for God’s sake, do not over-pick! You need to leave some behind.

I tell you, when I pass-on I’d like to be buried in a glorious field of wild garlic, just like the one below..I know it sounds weird, but that’s how strongly I feel about them. 

The only slight downside to eating this magnificent natural food is the way you smell afterwards.  Trust me, though, that is the only drawback to one of the best eating natural foods there is.

You can pickle them or eat it fresh. Try them in an egg salad sandwich or throw them in a 1 to 3 ratio vinegar and water mix. 

Here are some neat pickling techniques I found online:

http://www.seasonalchef.com/recipe0507b.htm

Man, I can’t wait to get home… 

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16 thoughts on “In search of Natures Perfect Food”

  1. Actually, the more I read, there seems to be conflicting information on the best way to pickle wild garlic..some say to soak them in salt water over night..and then boil the brine first before you put them in..

    Anyone know the best way to pickle these beauties??

    Outdoorsguy

  2. Thanks Pete!

    After reading a dozen or so different recipes, I ended up just going with Vinegar and water. Most
    recipes called for Alum which apparently keeps them from getting soft, but I doubt they’ll be around
    that long!

    Outdoorsguy

  3. Hey Jeff did you know that up in the hights beside you use to be the best spot , now i just go behind the house and it’s not too bad there, and i have found the best way to pickle them is with red wine vinegar , then again they don’t last long at my place . That wild bush bud, fresh bread and butter, cold beer, and a little wild turkey you can’t beat it .

  4. Hey Jeff

    Like you said, wild garlic is the best! It’s help with high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, helps psoriasis and it’s good for your liver. The only backfire is you can only pick 10 bulbs per person on the Quebec-side, but in Ontario as many as you can carry. If you pick them you should leave the female garlic because they are the ones that are the producers, just like in real life eh. You should also be careful of the way you take them out of the earth because they have roots and you should always take a knife with you and cut the roots and put them back in the earth so that you keep the wild garlic alive.

    Ginette

  5. Thanks Ginette..that’s super great information, I’ve never heard mentioned!

    As luck would have it, I still have all the roots from the ones I prepared last night.

    I’ll be getting my girls out there to help me plant our own wild garlic patch this weekend..

    Happy snacking!

    Outdoorsguy

  6. leave the females hahahahahaha
    right

    got some of these around the cottage and the local guys usually help me out with some

  7. Man, I saw tons of these while camping this weekend. I wish I would have known they were wild garlic!

    1. I’m like you, probably walked past them a million times..but NOW I know what they look like!

      Outdoorsguy

  8. I pick wild garlic every spring. I have my own secret spot that I return to every year. Speaking of leaving the roots behind, well, I always just dig out everything, the roots included, and when I say everything, I mean it! There’s not a plant left in sight! However, every spring when I return, there always are the same amount, if not more plants then the previous year! So the whole idea of leaving the roots behind is just common myth. Yes, they do reproduce by the roots (I plant the roots on my own property, and they grow back every spring), however, they also reproduce by rhyzomes, which are all over the ground anywhere you find wild garlic. So, whether you pick the roots or not, they will come back! It’s just nature’s way of self preservation!

    1. Hey Paul..thanks for the info..I would ove to think that’s true as it makes wild garlic conservation a lot easier..

      I did some transplanting myself this spring..but I dont think I have ideal WG habititat around my place..were you successful at getting it
      grow on your own property, Paul?

      Outdoorsguy

  9. I can’t believe people using shovels to get wild garlic. This is call ignorant persons. They need to be teached the right way. You only need 2 fingers to break wild garlic. Yes you break will garlic using your fingers. No shovels. With your hand, make a criss cross movement with the wild garlic and you will hear the root break. Don’t waste your time with shovels, you your hand and especially, your brain.

    1. Michel, I certainly understand your concern..however, if the plant is removed whole and the entire root section gently broken-away from the bulb and repositioned carefully back down the hole, the result is exactly the same. I have witnessed the regeneration in other areas and it is very positive.

      With garlic the size they are now, 9 out of 10 plants cannot be removed in the way you mention.

      This is what I was trying to explain to you last night…and if you do some investigating, you’ll see that I’m the last person to be raping and pillaging the land.

      Regards,

      Outdoorsguy

  10. Ahhhh….. wild garlic……purges the system and keeps the neighbours away. Excellent stuff.

    It’s good to see that everyone is at least ‘concerned’ about conserving their patch of green gold. It’s not a bad idea. We all know how it can be over-harvested by the greedy.

    Just like the other Alliums (onions, garlic, shallots, etc), wild garlic (wild leeks, ramp, ail de bois, whatever you call it) spreads by seeds and by bulb division. You can see as you dig them that several arise from the same rootstalk. This happpens over and over and the plant spreads. They say it takes from 5 to 7 years for a seed to grow to flowering size, which is fairly typical for flowering plants.

    As far as snipping off the roots and leaving them there is concerned, I don’t see how it would do much good, as you are exposing a huge area of the root-top to dessication and infection by cutting, and you’re separating the roots from the stored nutrient source, the bulb. Not much chance for survival there, but I could be quite happily mistaken.

    One would think that since the patch has been there for thousands of years, it’s not going to disappear from a few reasonable people of picking. Also it’s easy to transplant. I’ve done so many times in various woods with great success, including putting some in my backyard garden so I can estimate it’s readiness for picking in the wild.

    Everybody seems to have their own favourite digging method.

    “They” say, that if you mark a few square feet of it in the spring, you can come back in the summer/fall and dig up the mature bulbs. Never tried it, but it sounds interesting.

    PS. Jeff,
    Take a jar with you. I always seem to unearth lots of trout worms while picking wild garlic.

  11. Hey Ginette,

    Last weekend I was talking to some locals in the Gatineaus and they said you were allowed 50 plants each. Could it be different in some areas?

    Holy mackeral, they’d just sit in the patch with a salt shaker and eat a hundred!

  12. Where in Gatineau can one pick wild garlic? I also heard that they can be picked in the woods in Ottawa. If anyone knows please respond.

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