Edibility of Bulbs - Ramps

Nils Hasenbein via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Thu, 25 Mar 2021 01:06:40 PDT
In many places, the beech forests around our home abound with Allium 
ursinum, which seems to share most properties with A. tricoccum, 
including a common name, "Ram(p)s". A. ursinum is now commonly called 
"Bärlauch", "Bear's garlic" in Germany. At a time when, as a child, I 
didn't like onions or garlic, I had to pass through the forested 
hillside by bus from time to time, the road crossing a large population 
of A. ursinum. At flowering and when the leaves started to wilt, on warm 
and sunny days, the smell through the windows was almost unbearable, 
with two distinct versions of pungency - sweet and garlicky when 
flowering, leafmould and garlic when wilting.

I now sometimes receive some pesto with foraged A. ursinum as a gift, 
and it's quite nice. It here came into fashion as a 
forager/health/super/you name it - food I would say 20 years ago, and 
being as densely populated as central Europe is, foraging had to be 
regulated almost immediately. The foraging hype died down quite a bit as 
it is widely available in ready-made products like pesto. Also, each and 
every year the local newspaper issue an article about it, and always 
warn about the potential danger of mistakenly collecting leaves of 
Convallaria (I dont know a single place where Convallaria grows in the 
Forests around here ...), which reduces foraging a lot.

In my - limited - experience, it looses most of its flavor when cooked - 
i wonder if that's the same in A. tricoccum? I tried to grow A. 
tricoccum from seed some years ago out of curiosity to compare the two, 
but failed. After reading the wikipedia article about A. tricoccum 
again, I assume there is a culinary difference, as I don't know of any 
festivals celebrating A. ursinum. There is an image on wikipedia 
advertising "deep-fried butter-dipped ramps" ... I guess I will try 
growing it again.



in Bielefeld, Germany - sunny days ahead, Daffodils flowering, Anemone 
nemorosa emering in the forests. Dangerous time as I really want to 
plant and sow, but nights might still get freezing cold

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