Ramslök (Allium ursinum) is a wild-growing herb living in particular in hardwood forests, in particular on the islands of Öland and Gotland, but also in Skåne. Ramslök can be found during the season from April to June.
The ramslök has been used for long in the regional Swedish cuisines in a way similar to garlic. However, unlike the garlic it is the green leaves that are mostly used and sometimes also the flower buds. When ramslök is heated much of the flavours goes away, which is why cooking with it has to be made in a different way. Ramslök could be used in soup and is excellent for making pesto, flavoured butter and as an ingredient in potatos salad. In Gotland ramslök has also had medical use in historic times – as a cure against springtime sleepyness.
Until the 1960’s the presence of ramslök in the grazing fields for cows was considered a big quality problem as the milk would get an onion-like flavour and thus became unsuitable to use as drinking milk as well as for the preparation of butter. The interest in the herb has increased dramatically over the past 20 years and in such a way that the herb could now be threatened due to unsustainable harvesting methods.