“Bear leek.” Wild forest leek whose leaves look like lily-of-the-valley but smell oniony. Makes a great soup when its wide dark-green leaves are chopped up, sautéed with butter and olive oil, cooked with chicken broth, refined with heavy cream and puréed. It is not the same plant as Pennsylvania’s wild garlic (where these days I would probably grill the bulbs and cut up the chive-like stems for raw garnish, though I’ve never experimented with it as an adult).
Not too long ago word was that German bärlauch only grew wild in the woods, and cooks had to collect it there in springtime, in the healthy fresh air; but I saw delicious-smelling bärlauch growing in a Cologne botanical garden last Easter.
(BARE l ow! k.)