ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Foraging For Nature's Food

Updated on March 8, 2010

Wild Onions- Punchy, Pungent, Perfect

There’s nothing quite like foraging for food that grows naturally without anyone tilling the soil, pouring the water, or breaking his back. Gardening is a wonderful and gratifying activity, but it is a lot of work and worry, unlike the ease of strolling through a beautiful forest picking up pine nuts or harvesting mushrooms. Foraging is an excellent way to supplement your diet with delicious natural foods for free.

One such food I have been lucky to forage on my five acres in New Mexico is the wild onion. In spring, and after heavy rains, these fantastic pungent vegetables pop up from the ground in droves. Of course, the longer they grow, the bigger they will get (larger than an olive), but rarely reach the size of the green onions you can buy at the farmer’s market.

However, you don’t need size for flavor with these little bulbs because they pack a flavor wallop. Wild onions are highly concentrated and one whiff will tell you if the plant you just pulled is a wild onion or an imposter. If it looks like an onion but doesn’t smell like an onion, don’t eat it! It could be poisonous. If you are unsure, consult a guidebook.

The wild onion is a member of the lily family (Liliaceae). There are many varieties that grow wild. In some parts of the country, it is referred to as wild garlic. The plant I harvest is the Allium cernuum. Its loose cluster of small bluish purple blooms top several slender green stalks that shoot from one or two bulbs. The stalks grow around two to ten inches tall in my neck of the woods, but vary in other parts of the country. Eventually the blooms go to seed, fall to the ground, and carry on the wild onion tradition.

Uses for the wild onion include remedies for relieving flatulence to curing colds. But the use I and probably most people are interested in is for food. These onions are great to cook with because they are so "oniony," however their size makes cleaning them a little tedious. Fortunately, it doesn’t take that many wild onions to perk up any dish. Just peel away the papery skin layers to the juicy center bulb and either toss them in to your mouth or toss them in to your salad. They’re great!

Wild onions are a wonderful natural food, perfect for foraging and punchy to the tongue. If you can find them, I recommend giving them a try, but just remember not to eat too many if you’re planning to hold lengthy conversations with family and friends later.

Short stalks of wild onion.
Short stalks of wild onion.
Bloom of wild onion.
Bloom of wild onion.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • fishtiger58 profile image

    fishtiger58 

    8 years ago from Momence, Illinois

    I have never had a wild onion before but I have noticed that the onions I grow in my garden are much stronger than what I buy in the store. I can hardly cut them up they are so strong and before too long I can't even see to cut them my eyes are tearing so bad. Would love to try a wild onion.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)