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Anyone cook with wild onion?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
My husband dug up a wild onion in the yard. There are a few of them growing around.

We put it in a pot and I want to cook with it, at least try it. Anyone done any cooking with them?

post #2 of 33
Be careful!
Wild onions that grow in your yard are poisonous to humans and many other mammals. Ever notice how horses and cows avoid them in the field?

They are not deadly poisonous, but will lead to a lot of tummy and intestinal discomfort!

There are some wild onions that are edible for humans, but it's very difficult to identify the differences.

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!


Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

post #3 of 33
I would have to go with foodnphoto on this one ... unless you know for a fact what the exact type is I wouldn't touch it .... if you want to cook with wild onions you should look into cooking with ramps I believe they grow in your area I know around here in east Tn and Virginia and the Carolina's they grow like crazy.
They actually have a ramp fest not far from where I live I just can't remember where exactly.
Your best bet would be to check at a local farmers market
post #4 of 33

Ramps"wild leeks"

Hi Lori

As others have said be sure what you are picking is not poisonuos!
If ramps"WILD LEEKS"is what you have(100%sure)your in for a real treat.
Ramps are much better then any onion IMO.My favorite way to prepair
them is with red potatos.Just chop them as you would a scallion and
sautey in butter then add cubed poached red potatos and fry 20 to 30
minuits.They have a flavor like garlic and onion combined.Quite strong
so you may wont to ajust how much you use.Very good in potato soup
also.I love um and can't wate till they get a little bigger here so I can
cook some up too.:lips:
post #5 of 33
I would suggest digging them all up, more worrysome is the fact that you could have an infestation if its not controlled. I know because my yard smells like an onion farm and I spend countless hours digging up these invasive plants. No herbicide on this planet can kill these little pests.

Not sure why anyone would eat these things. The smell alone is terribly repugnant. I've heard they mellow out a bit after they are cooked, but even after I wash my hands after picking them, my hands smell for hours.
post #6 of 33
That sounds terrible! I can't imagine my yard smelling like onions :P
Have you talked to a lawncare professional?
post #7 of 33
It is terrible!!!! I'm on a well and hesitant to treat my lawn. Anyways the only thing that works on these suckers chemically is Round-up and it's not all that effective because the leafs are very waxy and protected and you have to Paint it on or else kill everything that surrounds it. Really, the only solution is digging them up. Everytime I step outside I take a few clumps up. Maybe they'll be gone in 10 years.

Bulbs in general are very invasive when not kept in check. I also need to check my ph. Maybe the PH can be adjusted to discourage these pests.
post #8 of 33
Or maybe there's a natural predator you can borrow?
post #9 of 33
For killing them off maybe you could use a material such as cardboard for a mulch, but I don't know how much area you're talking about.
post #10 of 33
You know, I hear pigs love them, but I'm afraid they would eat everything else.

Finding a pig is not completely out of the question as there are quite a few farms in my county. I actually get a pig once a year, but he comes processed:)
post #11 of 33
Oh, I thought we can only find the wild onions in the wild bushes or deep into the forest...

Never try the wild onion before, mind to tell me the different in between the common and wild one?
post #12 of 33
foodnfoto -

what reference do you have for theory of poisonous wild onions?
the assumption appears quite unfounded.
post #13 of 33

Oh good heavens, the wild onions at the back of my yard are wonderful...
the tops have both flowers and bulbets, which are bitter.... but the onions
below ground, are like pearl onions, maybe a little stronger, and are great
mixed in with pinto beans or Ranch Style peas.

Weird thing: after cleaning and peeling a batch, I covered them with water,
to use the next day. Next day, the water was gelatinous...  clear gelatin.
Now I'm thinking this would go great in a potato soup or somethng, or mixed
with bacon fat to fry up something. Anyone else use that stuff?

post #14 of 33

I've seen on several gardening and weed sites that they are poisonous to animal and humans, it's not unfounded when so many sources have the same information! I'm apprehensive about using the ones I've found in my backyard because, while the symptoms are simple indigestion and such, but I'd rather not make my family suffer just for the sake of my curiosity and experimentation.

post #15 of 33

I've also read that, since the waxy covering protects it from sprays, to lightly step on the leaves to crush them and it will allow the weed killer or whatever it is that you may be using, to seep in and do it's job.

post #16 of 33

From reading if it smells like onion it is safe to eat.

post #17 of 33

Yes, if it smells like an onion or garlic, it's probably safe to eat, although they do seem to get bitter in the warmer months. I've eaten wild onions in Virginia, Georgia, and here in NW Florida, and have never had any problems. Now there are supposedly plants that look like onions that are poisonous, but they don't smell like onions. Don't eat those.

post #18 of 33

Wild animals avoid ramps as far as I can tell and  they are delicious! As foraging has become very popular many now pick/sell wild ramps. I know I have for years as they are in full bloom at the same time Morels are here. Nothing like a pot of creamy bacon and tater soup with wild ramps.

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #19 of 33
Originally Posted by MaryB View Post

From reading if it smells like onion it is safe to eat.

Correct.  I just taught my 7 year old son this recently.  We were out hunting Morels and he identified wild garlic.  I told him to cut the top with his nail and smell it and if it didn't smell like onions/garlic to leave it alone.  There are forms of Daffodil (If I recall correctly) and even worse, Death Camas that are similar in appearance to the untrained eye and can be mistaken for wild garlic or onions.  These are indeed poisonous.


post #20 of 33

As for the cooking part, I feel the cultivated varieties are far superior in flavor, size, etc.  However if you were out in the wild it is a cool way to bring interest to a meal, just make sure you ID the plant correctly.  Wild Ramps are indeed nice, and if you stumble upon a form of wild garlic that looks substantial it might be cool to see how it would do if you cultivate it. 

post #21 of 33

uhm pictures would better help before killing anything off. a little research. might be good stuff.

post #22 of 33

I just joined today and first want to say hi to everyone and also when I came across this post for wild onions, I want to say I'm glad to have come across this.  I harvest wild leeks every year and have always been told they are "wild onions"  I've never come across any that were bad but will do searches on them to see what they look like.  Some people in my area of Penna. have them growing in their yards and I would like to compare them with the wild leek this spring.  Thank you for the heads up on the wild onion.

post #23 of 33

I never been use wild onion in any of my recipe however it is quite interesting to use.

post #24 of 33

Be careful of what you harvest if wild or you may not eat again.

post #25 of 33

I am careful about what I collect from the woods but with wild leeks, i have harvested them for so many years...there is no mistake on these.  I believe what it is, is in at least the northern part of Penna. we just call them wild onions but they are not the ones you are talking about.

post #26 of 33

I have decades of foraging experience, have many books, confer w/many foragers (including those who sell to restaurants) on Yahoo! Groups, and I can say definitively that if it looks like an onion, and tastes like an onion, then it is an Allium species.  All Allium species are edible, period.  Though, like w/anything, there are limits (even too much water isn't safe, in part due to electrolyte imbalance...), and like some foods, cooking can dissipate the strength (try eating a bunch of raw garlic cloves and see how your stomach feels, or try mild roasted garlic and watch how many more you can eat w/o stomach issues...). 


Sam Schaperow, M.S.


post #27 of 33

Yes, I chop finely to use the greens like scallions, albeit w/a modestly different flavor.


Sam Schaperow, M.S.


post #28 of 33
Wild onions aren't poisonous; the issue at hand seems to be if the original poster correctly identified a wild onion, versus some other plant. Here's a helpful link:
post #29 of 33

You're unlikely to mistake a wild onion for a ramp [sometimes called wild leek]' The leaves are very different. tall and thing withy small flowers later in the season for the onions and shorter, broad kind of lily of the valley looking for ramps. ramps also have a very short season. Some plants that look like wild onions, apparently, can cause mild poising in humans. See a foraging site for details.

post #30 of 33

Wild onion-Allium canadense or A. vanidum.

Not Wild Garlic/Garlik which is Allium vineale.

No I have not cooked with it.

But I sold A. vineale to a Lady in Tenn. for resale.

A. vineale grows wild here(S.C.,USA) covers every pasture, not sprayed to keep it out.

Onions call make you sick, if you eat a lot raw, but you would have to really load up on them.

I eat garlic every day & I am fat & Happy.

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