Alliums which we know as garden plants are prized ingredients in other parts of the world. Here’s why… It’s officially bulb-planting season again, but for a greedy gardener like me there is often a tense trade-off between what space I dedicate to ornamentals and what I leave for edibles in my tiny urban patch. Fortunately, there is one genus of bulbs that can combine the best of both worlds, giving you dazzling colour and a tasty treat at the same time come spring. These are ornamental alliums and they taste as good as they look. As all alliums are very closely related, they produce most of the same flavour compounds and have similar internal chemistry. All plant parts of all species are perfectly edible – in theory. Do not eat recently purchased ornamental allium bulbs as these may have been treated with pesticides not suitable for human consumption. And always make sure you have your plant ID right as many narcissi many look similar to onions to the untrained eye.
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