If you want to describe the flavour of wild garlic, a mild form of garlic is the closest you get. I have had wild garlic in a number of different ways. The last time my taste buds were tickled was not long ago. I had been invited to a Michelin-star restaurant in Stockholm. Behind an anonymous door, with an interior in light, soft colours, lots of wood and shiny copper lamps, is Gastrologik. This is a restaurant that surprises with the same sure neo-Nordic balance you find among top restaurants in Copenhagen. Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr’s menu contained a very attractive dish; fillet of veal with cream of wild garlic, endives julienne and soured vegetables. In that harmonious Swedish way, with a careful balance between the sweet, fresh, sour, and mildly salty. The cream of wild garlic was superb and gave this dish a beautiful base, like a small piece of green meadow on a plate – if you know what I mean.
The wild garlic will soon be in full flower and make the Munkängarna meadows by Kinnekulle a glorious place to visit. Dark green leaves with romantic white flowers. That we have our own wild herb with a garlicky flavour is a find in itself. Wild garlic attracts a lot of interest when it appears. Longed for and missed, now the spring produce is finally starting to reappear. The sense of being able to use something that not only grows wild but also tastes nice is an amazing feeling. And as the wild garlic has a subtle flavour, it works well with lots of different ingredients.
A trip to Munkängarna and the area around Kinnekulle never disappoints, as there are so many places to visit for anyone interested in food. Forshems gästgiveri for example, where they work with locally produced ingredients and joined the Slow Food movement early. The chef and restaurateur, Stefan Johansson, who runs the restaurant, discovered slow food on a trip to Italy. He felt that this basic philosophy fitted in well med how he works at Forshem. The recipes Stefan follows have been handed down through his family for generations, and the chefs at Forshem treat their natural surroundings as their store cupboard. Game from the local area; actually most of what Stefan prepares has been sourced locally. Wild garlic is a natural ingredient for a chef who wants to serve unique food with local flavour that is well worth a journey in itself. To get a taste that is unique, and very, very Swedish, when it’s at its best.