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When there is an intense smell of garlic, it doesn’t always have to be garlic. For now is the time of the barlauch. "Bar leek, barenlauch or latin allium ursinum. Is a healing root plant", betrayal karin hedtfeld, healer and herbalist from wimmelbach.

This "forest garlic not only grows in the forest, it can also be cultivated well in your own garden. It should be sown in a shady place, preferably under trees and shrubs. "But it is only visible above ground for a relatively short time and retreats after bleeding. Don’t be surprised, he’ll be back next year", says the healer. If you don’t have a garden, you can simply gather leaves in a mixed forest in the springtime. In the forest near ebermannstadt or at the small pond between unterleinleiter and durrbrunn, for example, there are coarser flats. But garlic may only be collected for personal use.

Odor decisive feature

"Again and again the wild growing barlauch is confused with maiglockchen or herbstzeitlosen", warns hedtfeld. The most important distinguishing feature is the smell: if you grind the leaves of the baruch between your fingers, they emit the typical odor of garlic. "In previous years, it did not grow until may, but now it already grows in april. That’s why it now grows at the same time as the maybells."

The wild mousse grows in damp, semi-shaded forests and along streams and floodplains. The leaves are sword-shaped and up to five centimeters wide. After two to three months they turn yellow. If you collect barlauch in the forest, you should harvest only one or two leaves per plant, so that they keep enough energy for a new sprout the next year. The weeds open from april and bleed until about june.

Barlauch is versatile

"In the kitchen, leeks are harvested before bleeding and chopped to make salads, soups and mixtures, or added to bread. The taste of garlic is milder than that of garden garlic, but it does not cause a strong "bad breath", declares hedtfeld. The garlic leaves can be used like garlic, onions, chives and leeks. However, barlauch must be prepared fresh, because it does not keep long due to its high water content.

Leek contains allicin, is rich in minerals, vitamins and trace elements. "For centuries, the herb was used to cleanse and purify the body", reports the healer."Today, barlauch is used in natural medicine mainly as an antihypertensive and against constriction of the arteries, also in gefabbedingten headaches and kidney disease. "It is also used for its antibacterial effect in the treatment of gastrointestinal problems and is recommended for skin rashes."

Caution, danger of confusion! Three tips for collecting wild leeks!

Barlauch leaves smell like garlic when rubbed between the fingers. Leek grows in groups and usually forms a carpet.

Each barlauch leaf sprouts from the ground on a single pole. In maiglockchen grow two leaves on a rod. The leaves of the autumn crocus first lie tightly on the stem and then open up. Autumn crocus and maybells store substances in their leaves that can cause life-threatening poisoning when eaten. Signs: vomiting, cramps, acute circulatory problems and bloody diarrhea. These symptoms appear already two to six hours after the meal. Visit the doctor!

Wild wild leeks can be infested with fox tapeworm eggs, so wash the leaves thoroughly.

Three delicious recipes to try

Karin’s barlauchpesto:

Chop the leaves very finely, mix with oil and add chopped pine nuts or hazelnuts. Mix well and fill up again with oil. When taking it out, make sure that there is always a layer of oil on top as thick as a finger. Add grated cheese before use, and you’re done!!!

Carmen’s barley salt:

Dry the leaves of the barth, then chop them and mix them with coarse sea salt. The coarse herb salt in the grinder finely grate and fill into glass jars.

Birgit’s barlauchbutter:

Warming butter to room temperature. Washing and chopping the leeks. Put the butter, the leeks, a little salt and a little olive oil in a large bowl and mix with a blender.

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