Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum
Leek is native to Europe and is now cultivated in all temperate zones. It enjoys cool, deep, humus-rich soils and withstands winter well. The world’s largest producer is Indonesia, followed by Turkey and Belgium. According to tradition, the Roman Emperor Nero, whose favorite vegetable was leek because he thought it could clear his voice, was nicknamed “the porrophagus”, or leek-eater. Leek is also one of the two symbols of Wales, along with the narcissus.
Leek is rich in vitamins B, C, E and provitamin A, as well as in mineral salts: iron, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sulphur and silica. It is also rich in fibre, which is beneficial for intestinal transit.
Urinary and renal disorders
Leek has a diuretic effect useful in cases of urinary retention, kidney failure, difficult or painful urination, infection, or disorders associated with an excess of blood urea (rheumatism, gout, arthritis).
To preserve the vitamins, the tender part can be eaten raw, in a salad or as a raw vegetable with other vegetables. Cooked, it can be prepared in soup or steamed. Rootlets can be blanched in water and pan-roasted.
People suffering from kidney stones are advised to moderate their consumption because of its oxalate content. In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.