Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to Select a Great Leek

I have watched countless customers select leeks over the years and they often don't select the ones with the most usable leek. I watched one customer last week carefully pick the leeks with the best leaves and pass by leeks where we had removed most of the leaves (to get it to fit in the tub we transport them in). The leeks that were passed over had nearly 3X the usable leek and would store as long or longer than the "pretty" ones. Okay so how do you pick a great leek?

First a lesson in leek anatomy. The usable part of the leek is from the roots to the leaves. The longer the shank (this region from the roots to the leaves) is, the more usable leek there is. Diameter is good too. There is no advantage to a smaller leek diameter in terms of tenderness.

Do leeks need to be buried to blanch the shanks.  Well you can if you like but I have not found there to be much difference.

So if this is the case, why are all the leeks in the stores short and stubby. I'll let you ponder this a moment before I give you the reason............... OK, time's up. It is because these short stubby dwarf leeks fit on the shelf! How is that for a value proposition.

The leeks we grow are tall stately, have great flavor, and offer 3x the value of the typical store bought leek. We also grow the leeks in a highly mineralized soil with excellent compost. So you get flavor, nutrition and great value all in one.

See my post on potato leek soup and leek fritters for some serving ideas.

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