are all Allium edible?

Mark McDonough
Thu, 01 Apr 2010 11:30:59 PDT
May I please refer you to Dr. Eric Block's new book, Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Sceince.  In this finely produced book, there is lots of information on this topic, and some shocking photos of allium allergies, contact dermatitis reactions and "garlic burn" from medicinal application of garlic... so there is no clear cut answer.  For more information, see the link below where I blog about the book; including links to extensive preview pages and purchase info.…

If I get my act together and finish the book, I will be posting a review here on PBS.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border, USDA Zone 5

Message: 6
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 13:39:59 -0700
From: Mary Sue Ittner <>
Subject: [pbs] Edible bulbs
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed


The current no subject thread (come on guys, you could change it to 
identify what you are talking about for the sake of the archives) 
reminds me of a post we received from a non member who was taking 
issue with the wiki page created by Lee Poulsen that he called edibles.…

On it was listed Colocasia esculenta, a plant used in Hawaii for a 
food known as Taro. This man and his wife had made a stew using this 
plant instead of potatoes using a published recipe. It tasted strange 
so they spit it out, but she ended up in an emergency room. He gave 
me links to sources of information about this and how it could cause 
a severe itching, stinging, or burning sensation in the mouth and 
throat, followed by swelling and other effects, or a less severe 
irritation or itching sensation on external skin (on hands and arms 
for example). It took his wife 12 days to recover completely.

By saying that a plant has been used as a food source, we fail to say 
how it is processed to make it safe. Indians in our area used acorns 
from a tree as a food source, but there was a lengthy process that 
was needed to remove the toxicity.

Do we know if all Alliums are equally edible? I'm sure that some 
taste better than others, but that is not my question. My question is 
whether they are all safe to eat.

Mary Sue

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