As a promise that I've made to myself at the very beginning of the wild garlic season, this year I will finally try my hands on some foraging. Since I have more or less publicly announced my intention to do it this blog , I can no longer back out on this ambitious plan. I must bravely go where I have never been before - Into The Wild.
*Picture a brave and proud looking face*
Now I am by no means a seasoned forager and have absolutely no clues as to where to begin. With no clear directions and no one willing to share their secret stash, I resorted to the next best thing - lots of serious google research. Through means of elimination, I have pin pointed a location which is not too far from me and have great potential. Mainly due to it being described as 'lots of woodland' where wild garlic (also known as ramsons) are reputed to be found.
So brimming with confidence in myself, an upbeat heart and a rather large and optimistic empty bag, I set off for my first ever foraging endeavour. Half an hour tube ride later, and a short stroll down the familiar sight of a typical high street, I arrived at this wilderness jungle (slight exaggeration it might be but as we are still within zone 4 territories, this piece of woodland is practically remote rainforest)
After an initial failure at catching some delicious looking grouse lurking amidst these green woodlands, mainly due to a tribe of hostile looking goats. One even decided to charge in my direction. Ferocious little thing! I had no choice but to abandon this plan and retreat towards into the deep forest and resume on my wild garlic hunt.
For the first hour or so, there were no wild garlic to be seen and hardly any blue bells, which are normally found near wild garlic. And hard as I might, trying to sniff the air for their distinctive faint garlicky aroma resulted nothing more than the smell of damp earth. But as luck would have it, just as I was about to throw in my gloves and trod off, I spotted some familiar looking leaves amongst the vast patches of stinging nettles and some unidentifiable weeds. And it didn't take long before I gathered a large handful of these beautiful wild garlic.
Unfortunately, all I've managed to find was some patchy wild garlic crop, so my ginormous bag still remained half empty. But as my first ever foraging experience, I was rather gleeful with this handful of rewards and the best part of this is, I've even managed to procure some with their roots intact which I've decided to plant in my garden.
Now, this crowning glory is comfortably residing in my humble little garden and blossoming. Yes, this elusive wild garlic plant is now tamed and coaxed to remain domesticated. Hopefully it will produce more of its kind in time to come and spread freely and wildly to forever cater to my affection for this delicious greens. I can't wait for next spring.
Grow my pretties! Grow!
Some of my recipe for wild garlic :
Chinese Wild Garlic Pancakes with Gochujang Dipping Sauce (New-Style Cong You Bing 蔥油餅)
Clams, Chorizo, Wild Garlic and Cannellini Beans with Soda Bread
Linguine with Wild Garlic, Lemon, Olive Oil and Pecorino
Deep Fried Courgette Flowers Stuffed With Wild Garlic