The leek, a cousin of the onion, is a member of the lilaceae family. Originally from central Asia, it has been consumed since ancient times. It was on the menu of the Egyptians and later the Romans, pioneers of gastronomy, used it plentifully in their cuisine, especially during their great feasts.
During the middle ages, the cultivation of leeks was introduced to Europe where they remain a prized vegetable to this day. It appears on the national emblem of Wales and is that country’s national vegetable. The cultivation of leeks spread to North America with the arrival of the first settlers. Both a vegetable and a condiment, the leek has always enhanced a wide variety of dishes with its unique aroma.