This Country Leads The World In Leek Production

Leeks are an amazing vegetable. They are a member of the onion family and resemble huge green onions (a.k.a. scallions or spring onions). Unlike their bulbous cousins, however, the flavor of leeks is generally mild (and is less likely to make you cry), making them a great addition to soups, casseroles, and white-meat entrees, per The Spruce Eats. They are even excellent on their own as a side dish and prepared in an array of different ways: roasted, fried, and sautéed among them.

Leeks are also quite healthy. Per MasterClass, they are low in calories and high in fiber and vitamin K. In addition, they contain vitamin B folates, which play a part in cell development. Generally, leeks are easy enough to find in grocery stores, but they tend to be one of the more expensive varieties of onions on the market in the United States (via Spruce Eats). One reason for this could be that, while leeks are certainly grown here, the numbers don't compare to the amounts produced in other countries around the world, particularly one which may surprise you.

No shortage of leeks here

In a comparison completed in 2019 of 58 countries, Indonesia ranked the highest in leek production with 590,596 tonnes (via Helgi Library) or 651,020.651 US tons. This accounted for 26.9% of leek production in the entire world. Turkey came in a very distant 2nd place with approximately 225,000 tonnes. South Korea, Belgium, and France rounded out the top five, with the United States not even making an appearance in the top 15.

The enjoyment and versatility of this popular veggie has been enjoyed for literally thousands of years. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the ancient Egyptians and Romans loved them. Similarly, MasterClass states that leeks are described in the Hebrew Bible. Today, leeks are readily found in French cuisine, most commonly known as an ingredient in chilled Vichyssoise soup. In Turkey, leeks are sliced thickly, boiled, and stuffed with rice-based fillings. Cock-a-Leekie soup is popular in Scotland, while potato leek soup is adored in America (MasterClass). While it always makes a great soup addition, don't discount its versatility. Leeks make a great addition to breakfast and side dishes. Just be sure to give them a good cleaning before you cook with them.