Word of the Week…ail des bois

Word of the week…en français

ail des bois /aj de bwa/ noun

Literally “garlic of the woods” this is the wild leek or ‘ramp.’ Native to North America, it is harvested in Spring particularly in maple groves. It gained culinary popularity in the past decade, but has long been used traditionally. For example, ramps can be dried and used throughout the year as an ingredient in soups. It is widespread, but vulnerable in Quebec.

For pronunciations, see Collins French for ail des and bois. For more information see the French and English Wikipedia entries for allium tricoccum. For information about conservation in Quebec, see Espace pour la vie. For cooking with ramps, see this article from Saveur.

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