The Alps’ culinary highlights

Trust me: You won’t regret learning some basics about edible plants if you’re into the whole outdoor-thing. This skill just adds so many great flavours, vitamins and minerals to your bland camping food. We loved coming across yummy greens and always paused long enough to gather a few handfuls of them. In Val Grande, we found and used the following plants (I suppose they will grow in other parts of the Alps as well):

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Spring Greeneries No.2: Ground Elder

Just like the stinging nettle, the ground elder (aka “goutweed” but I don’t like this name because in my nerdy opinion there is no such thing as “weeds” …) is just as well-known as it is undervalued. In fact, gardeners absolutely HATE it. Why? The ground elder spreads rapidly and seems to be immortal. Like really and truly immortal. There are a million suggestions on how to get rid of it on the internet and most don’t seem to work. The ground elder always comes back and will soon cover most of your garden, taking room and light from the other plants.

Which is just another reason why I suggest a change of perspective: Stop weeding, start harvesting! Plus, the ground elder is a little power pack. True local superfood.

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Spring Greeneries No.1: The Few-Flowered Leek

Oh, how much I love spring! It always arrives a little later in Berlin than in some other German regions, but by now, there is fresh green everywhere. And since deep down I’m a little nerdy botanist, this excites me very much. It’s time to collect – and eat – wild herbs again! And it’s time to dust this blog and feed it with some new (yet long planned) content about edible plants.

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So today, I’d like to introduce you to the so called ‘few-flowered leek/garlic’ (German: “Wunderlauch” oder “Berliner Bärlauch”). If you don’t pay it a second glance, it’s easy to mistake this delicious plant for lilies of the valley or some good old juicy bunch of grass. But you’re missing out! The few-flowered leek could be considered as the little sister of the well-known bear’s garlic and is therefore also an early bloomer. However, this type of wild onion is actually NOT a native plant in Europe but has its origin in Middle Asia and Caucasian regions. Nowadays, it can be found in lush carpets here in Berlin-Brandenburg and other parts of Europe as well. Seriously, at a good spot, you can harvest whole bags of it within a few minutes.

So how to identify it?

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