The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

It's Bärlauch zeit

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Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It's Bärlauch zeit

Spring has sprung and so has the Allium ursinum or Bear garlic, known in my woods as Bärlauch.

German: http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/germ/Alli_urs.html

English: http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Alli_urs.html

I have two containers of freshly plucked leaves gathered from the forest floor (before the storm hit us) and don't quite know where to start.....

Comments

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

The plant looks interesting - and the blooms much like regular garlic.  Do you use it as a seasoning or is it mild enough to eat as a green?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And it was like eating a small garlic clove, slightly milder but still pungent.  5 minutes later I had to brush my teeth, Those around me were complaining about not having enough fresh air and I could hardly stand it myself.  I am a garlic lover but not before breakfast.  If it is sliced very thin into strips and worked into the salad dressing or scattered in greens, it is very nice. 

It is also added into buns and breads this time of year.  It is often pureed into soups to flavor, like garlic soup.  It is best when not over cooked.  I would love to try deep frying the leaves to make them crunch or in tempura batter.  It is one of the ingredients in 7 herb soup, the first herbs of spring traditionally eaten before Easter during Lent.   (stinging nettles is another, just the points of jung plants)

Mini O

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

It sounds like a lovely herb to have around.  Interesting that you should mention stinging nettle.  My husband just started taking stinging nettle capsules for his allergies.  He was able to discontinue his other allergy meds - and this only costs about $6/month!

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

MiniO,

The American cousin of bear garlic (colloquially known as either ramps or leeks in the corner of Michigan where I grew up) were are regular Spring features in most of the hardwood forests.  One taste was enough to demonstrate both their lineage and their staying power.  I don't remember anyone using them as food, but my dad and other farmers were mightily unhappy if their dairy herds ate any.  The flavor came through in the milk and, in some instances, might require dumping a day or two's output.  That made it a rather expensive walk in the woods from the farmers' perspective.

And yet we paid for French Onion flavored chip dip . . .

PMcCool

kad9's picture
kad9

Bärlauch makes a great pesto to use on bread, potatoes, or pasta. 

250 grams olive oil

25 grams of salt

250 grams of Bärlauch

Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Put in a jar and top with a little olive oil. It will keep for a year or more. Fantastic. I just made some today from Bärlauch we picked this morning. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Wow a whole year?  Great idea.  I always think of what to do with it when it's no longer in season.  Thank you for the great tip.

Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And it was wonderful!  My Mil was busy making this wonderful creamy soup and I simply could not refuse. 


It's that time of year again and I still have a little pesto left too!  It's still as green as the day I made it. 


There is a Creme Fraiche with chives sold here that makes me wonder if maybe the soup and the cows eating the stuff have a chef in common.


Mini

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

I'm wondering if this is similar to Chigagou the Algonguin word for "Wild Onion/Garlic Field" and the namesake of Chicago?


+Wild-Yeast


P.S. Found out that it's not the same.  Wild Garlic was imported from Europe.  Wild Onions are native.