The liliaceae family includes a group of monocotyledonous plants and which are part of the genus Liliales.
Usually they are bulbous or rhizomatous plants which have leaves of a commonly filiform, lanceolate or oblong shape but always with parallel and quite fleshy veins.
This plant family is very old and it seems that its origin dates back to about 58 million years ago when the plants developed the bulb or the rhizome as an adaptation in order to better survive in periods of nutrient scarcity; in fact these two systems allowed to have reserves of nutrients even when the weather was too harsh or there was too much drought.
In the ancient systematic criterion for cataloging plants, over 4000 species were indicated in the liliaceae family; in this infinite variety, the most common liliaceae for food use are asparagus, garlic, onion, leek, chives and shallots.
In this family many plants are then used for their beauty and therefore for ornamental purposes like lily of the valley, hyacinth, lily and tulip.
But among the minor lily let's get to know lampascioni, wild garlic, wild beds and black garlic.
The scientific name of the lampascioni plant is Muscari Comosum and belongs to the Lilliaceae family.
This small bulb grows spontaneously in the country and in particular it is collected in the southern regions such as Puglia and Basilicata.
The lampascioni are well recognized thanks to their particular violet inflorescence which blooms in spring and this very flower was once used for dye fabrics.
La edible part instead of the plant is the bulb which grows to a depth of about 15 centimeters below the ground level.
Lampascioni can also be grown but they are certainly more sought after and spontaneous ones appreciated with a more pronounced bitter taste. Usually, before harvesting the lampascione bulb, wait at least 4 or 5 years so that it is large and ripe enough to be eaten.
Who has no experience in recognizing it, however, it must refrain from harvesting because it could find another spontaneous bulb, the Colchicum, which is instead highly poisonous.
Lampascioni contain dietary fibers, starch and sugars such as sucrose and glucose but also many minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese and magnesium.
They also have healthy active ingredients such as flavonoids, saponins and different nitrogen compounds which give the typical flavor to this bulb; the presence of these substances makes the lampascioni diuretics and mildly laxatives with a also antithrombotic effect thanks to the ability to lower blood pressure and decrease circulating fats.
The bitter taste is indicated to aid digestion and furthermore the lampascioni have an anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive walls and on the intestinal mucosa.
| By Lucarelli
Bear's garlic is an edible medicinal plant which bears the scientific name of Allium ursinum and belongs to the liliaceae family.
Bear's garlic is one perennial herbaceous plant which grows up to a maximum of 40 centimeters and has broad basal leaves with a fleshy consistency; the flowers are white umbel inflorescences that bloom in spring from April. ll bulbo that grows underground is edible and his taste and smell is typical of garlic.
Wild garlic grows spontaneously throughout the country shady places in deciduous forests or along streams because it loves humid places. This garlic is widespread in both Europe and North Asia.
The wild garlic bulb can be used fresh or dried; yours too leaves are edible like thesalad and even i semi can be collected and used as spice to flavor dishes.
Bear garlic is a medicinal plant which has been used in folk medicine for a very long time to help the body's well-being.
In fact, it allows you to lower blood cholesterol being hypocholesterolizing e protects against heart disease; he has purifying and antiseptic properties being a blood purifier and an excellent detoxifier from microorganisms, parasites, fungi and pathogenic bacteria as well as from heavy metals and other toxic substances.
Wild garlic, as well as other garlic, has hypotensive, vasodilating and diuretic properties.
Those who collect wild plants for food use are familiar with the so-called wild beds that grow in early spring in the cool woods of the plains and which bloom in graceful white or pale pink inflorescences.
These tasty little bulbs are generally attributable to the scientific name of Allium neapolitanum, popularly also remembered with the name of Neapolitan or wild aletti.
The wild ones they are easy to recognize even when only the long and fleshy leaf is present because, if cut, it releases a strong smell of garlic; in fact, all parts of the plant contain sulphurous substances that give the typical smell of traditional garlic.
The bulbs are thus collected to be used freshi in mesticides and to flavor dishes; Even the leaves they can also be used if they have a less intense flavor than the bulb. In addition to the bulb and leaves the fruits are also edible, red capsules that develop on the underside of the flower just after the inflorescence has fallen.
The fruits of wild garlic are to be eaten during the day or to be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. Their flavor is typical of garlic and is very pleasant in sauces, dips and savory creams.
The properties of wild garlic are similar to those of other plants of the same genus: hypotensive, antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant, hypoglycemic and digestive.
Black garlic was born in 2004 in Korea and it subsequently spread to Europe and America. In the country, however, it is not yet known and it is difficult to find it for sale while on the web we can already find it on the market.
Its black coloring is formed after a temperature-controlled fermentation process that lasts 30 days and after another 45-day phase.
No chemicals, additives or dyes are used but garlic simply changes its color from white to black after these natural processes of fermentation and oxidation.
Black garlic it contains much more proteins and minerals (even twice the phosphorus content and 7 times more calcium than common garlic). In Japan it is in fact considered a super food which manages to give strength and fights fatigue.
Black garlic loses much of the allicin, the typical flavor of traditional garlic; the taste of black garlic is therefore very pleasant, almost sweet with a slight aftertaste reminiscent of licorice.
Although without allicin, theblack garlic has a higher percentage of antioxidants which fight free radicals and prevent aging. Furthermore, thanks to these antioxidants, protects against diseases of the cardiovascular system and it is useful against bad cholesterol thanks to its cholesterol-reducing effect given by the sulphurous substances it contains.
According to recent studies in black garlic there is a double concentration of antioxidants compared to white garlic with a significant increase also in cancer prevention.
Read also Wild garlic pesto, the recipe >>