Wild garlic season is here and it’s time to go out and forage. Now is the perfect time to go out and pick some wild garlic, but it will be around until June. Once it flowers, it can become a bit bitter. Alas, the flowers are a great addition to salads. It is versatile and pungent, but makes a delicious addition when whipped into pesto or soup. Unlike bulb garlic, it has a mellower taste.
So where can you find some? Dense clusters of green spears will push through from woodland floors in spring. You’ll usually find it in places where bluebells grow, or if the woodland you are walking through is very old. The plant is native to Britain and often gets confused with ‘Lily of the Valley’. This is poisonous, so don’t get making pesto with it. Wild garlic likes damp ground where it will grow in abundance, with hundreds of green leaves growing on a single green stem. Here is a small selection of some of the best places to see, and to smell wild garlic in the UK:
- The Woods at Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire
- Gribbin Head, Cornwall
- Rampsholme Island, Derwentwater, Cumbria
- Arnos Vale, Bristol
There’s a few rules to follow with foraging:
- Always ask permission. In certain areas some plant species may be protected, so do some research.
- Only pick from areas that have a plentiful supply.
- Never pick protected species or cause any damage.
Before eating your wild garlic, be sure to wash it thoroughly and dry it with kitchen towel. It will keep well in the fridge. Simply store it in a ziplock bag with a damp piece of kitchen towel. You can also freeze it to use out of season. So what are you waiting for? Go and find some delicious wild garlic and engulf your kitchen with its delicious scent.