I found and wrote about this patch of wild onion in August, and all winter long it’s been in the back of my mind. The long stretch of lack of fresh, green flavors would be abruptly broken by the reappearance of this lovely piece of culinary geniusness. This particular one is allium senescens, its common name ‘german garlic’. I have a hard time comparing it to anything garlic as it strikes me nothing like it. It’s more like the offspring of a one-night-stand of nodding onion and wild chive. Nodding onion, to date, has been the clear winner in the kitchen for allium awesomeness. I think it has a competitor now, as A. Senescens is like nodding onion on steroids. I’m going to have to do some side-by-side comparisons.
Not all allium are safe to eat, by the way. One of the perks of going foraging often is I’d been in this area often enough to be there to see it bloom, positively ID it when it was, so that I was extremely confident come spring what I was looking at exactly. As always with wild food, it’s important to do some considerable homework prior to trying a bit of something. But that homework shouldn’t be a deterrent to learning about and tasting it, that’s for sure. Although a star now because it’s so early, this guy will be in season throughout the summer, so I can visit it regularly as the other greens, mushrooms, and fruits come into season.