Baerlauch Flower

One of the defining moments of the arrival of spring in Switzerland (and Germany, Austria- for the matter) is the emergence of Bärlauch, turning the forest grounds into a sea of green with their rich green foliage and fill the air with a nice scent of garlic.

In April, Bärlauch pops up as an ingredient in almost everything imaginable: butter, sauces, mayonnaise, cheese, in white sauce over the other Spring veggie here, the Spargel (asparagus), in drinks, in dessert toppings, baked into pasta, broiled over pasta – the sky is the limit to innovative ideas! You can buy it fresh (advisable, esp. weekly green markets) or stores.

Here is a quick and delicious recipe with Bärlauch:
Bärlauch pesto: Pulverise 80g of the bear’s garlic (or wild garlic or Ramson) with 80ml of olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt. Mix with spaghetti boiled al dente. Top with Parmiggiana cheese and toasted chopped walnuts if you wish.

En Guete– as we say in Switzerland!

It is also readily available for free to those who want to do foraging. However there are precautions to be considered, if you go Bärlauch-plucking yourself:

  • Use fresh and young plants
  • Always wash Bärlauch very well in several changes of water to rid of any dried fox excrement
  • Wild garlic can be easily confused with poisonous plants. Mainly with the leaves of (Meadow Saffron) – Herbstzeitlosen – larger leaves of this plant are extremely harmful, and can be deadly in some instances and (Lily of the valley), – Maiglöckchen.
    Baerlauch with flowers

    Baerlauch with flowers