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Friday, April 17, 2015

Wild Onions in Kansas

One of the first plants to appear in the spring in eastern Kansas are wild onions.  They are literally everywhere!  We saw a few, pulled on the ends and smelled the onion smell.  It was enough to send us online to look for answers.  Sure enough- they were wild onions!  Some people find them to be unwanted weeds growing through their lawn.  I thought them unique enough that I got out a shovel and started digging some up.  I made a pile of the onions, then brought them inside and washed the dirt off of them. 
Before I decided what to cook with the onions, I made sure that they really were onions.  There are some wild plants that look similar to onions that can be very poisonous.  Fortunately, there's an easy way to tell the difference.  Wild onions smell like onions.  Poisonous look-alikes don't.  I smelled each plant- yup, all onions. 
You can use wild onions just like you would use normal onions, only the bulbs are small- just like green onions.  I took my pile of onions, chopped them and made French onion dip.  Yum- it was delicious. 
What do wild onions taste like?  They taste substantially like normal onions, but with an ever so slight different taste to them.  I compare the difference in taste to much like different varieties of apples taste the same generally but with slight differences.  Will I dig them again to eat some more?  I'm not afraid to.  I might.  I guess it comes down to convenience.  It is a lot more convenient to use a nice big bulbed cultivated onion then it is to spend an hour digging up and processing wild onions. 

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