Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spring Flavours - Garlic and Ginger

 Native ginger (asarum canadense) grows in various patches on our property.  It is not related to the ginger found in supermarkets that come from Asia, but it does have a pungent gingery smell and flavour.  Because the roots are not very thick, it is tiresome to clean enough to use routinely in cooking but they can be used in dishes in the same way as regular ginger. If the root has been exposed to light and has turned green, it will have a bitter taste though.

 The flowers are round maroon single blooms that grow so that they sit on the ground, face down. I think they are pollinated by ants which would explain the strange position.  Lots of white fuzzy hairs dress up the new growth.

 An inside look at the flower.

 A patch of fully opened ginger.  It makes quite a nice ground cover under hardwood trees where it can be difficult to get plants to grow.

 Spring is also time for wild garlic. Over the years, we have let our patches grow unmolested and they have spread nicely.  This year I thought we could probably eat a couple of bulbs, so after taking a picture of them, I cooked them up with some potato.  The flavour was very mild - a cross between garlic and onion.

 In Quebec, the garlic was being decimated by poachers who would dig whole patches up and then sell them at markets.  The government passed a law so that people are only allowed to pick a bit for personal use, and they can't legally sell it anymore.


  1. How fortunate you are. It looks like a lovely place to live.

  2. Nice shot of the wild ginger flower!!