Food Information


The leek is the mildest member of the onion family. Unlike the sharper onion, there isn't a tear or a sniffle in a car load of leeks. They look like huge scallions with long white stalks and flat green leaves. In North America they are primarily used as a soup green, but in Europe they are also used as a cooked vegetable. They may be, but seldom are, eaten raw.

While leeks are not a big seller in this country, they are widely used in France and Great Britain. In France, while the wealthy are dining on fresh asparagus, the less affluent use leeks as a substitute in recipes that call for asparagus. Scotland's famed and hearty cock-a-leekie soup is made from chicken, barley, and leeks. In Wales the leek is not only used as a vegetable but as a national emblem.

When purchasing leeks select those that are fresh-looking, flexible, and free from grit. If the stalk isn't pliable, it will probably be too woody. Even if the leek looks free from sand, play it safe and give it an intense washing in cold water.
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