Fermented Ramsons Flower Buds

Fermented Ramson Flower Buds on Almost Bananas

I love spring in the area of Slovakia where I live, in the Malé Karpaty. The forest bursts into life, with bird song and greenery (post coming soon on the amazing flower explosion in spring).

Ramsons, or bear garlic, is a wild garlic related to the North American ramps. I haven’t actually tasted ramps, but I’ve heard that they are stronger than ramsons. They carpet the forest floor (like here), verdant and lush. 

Many Slovaks pick wild bear garlic, although when I asked a friend what they do with them she said mostly chopped on bread. I made a great soup with nettles, but I didn’t get a picture. They make an ah-mazing pesto with nettle (recipe) and I collected 12 ways to use ramps.

The last time I went picking, the flower buds were just starting to come out. I immediately thought of fermenting them.

Fermented ramson flower buds in a jar

Now, I love foraging, I can pick hoards of edible weeds and greenery. And I have great ideas of what to do with them. The problem is, it doesn’t always get done, sadly. But I did get these fermented ramson flower buds made, partly because it’s so easy.

I was a little worried that there wasn’t that much bubble action. The buds start out bright green and turn a not so lovely browny green. But when I opened up the jar, it was perfect.

A little crunch but not too much. Garlicky but without the edge that raw garlic has. I ate a bunch just popping them plain, but they are also good in a salad or as a condiment with rice or other grains. In fact, my oldest daughter ate a bunch by themselves.

If you don’t have ramsons around, you can also use the flower buds from ramps or chives.

Fermented ramson flower bud recipe at Almost Bananas blog

Fermented Ramsons Flower Buds


  • ramson flower buds (or chives, ramps)
  • filtered water
  • salt


  1. 1. Pick flower buds and rinse if dirty. 

  2. 2. Mix a 2% brine of water and salt. That means for 500 ml of water, you will want 10 grams of salt. For 2 cups of water, 9 grams of salt. The amount of brine you make will depend on how many flower buds you have. 

  3. 3. Put flower buds in a jar that is slightly bigger than the amount of flowers. Pour brine over flowers until covered. The flowers need to stay under the brine - I did this by folding a bear garlic leaf overtop and putting in a champagne cork. I'm not sure it worked that well. Close the lid. 

  4. 4. Let sit and ferment. I kind of lost track of time, but I think I left these to ferment for 10 days on the counter and then I put them in the fridge. Check on yours to determine how long you want to ferment them. 

  5. 5. Eat the goodness. 

Recipe Notes

Salt: preferably use salt without any flow additives added, as regular table salt does.