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Leek (allium porrum)
A vegetable belonging to the liliaceae family, so related to the onion.
It is grown for its white thickened-leaf base, which is generally white, and has a mild onion flavour; the stalk becomes progressively darker green nearer its top, and while the pale green section is generally used, the darker area is rather hot in flavour, and only suitable for stock.
When using, leeks need to be carefully washed, by splitting then from their green end, as they often harbour grit, which isn't apparent until they are consumed.
Leeks are the national emblem of Wales. See Vichyssoise & Glamorgan Sausages in our Recipe Section.