Major commercial varieties include Pinola, Titan, Arkansas, Derik, Palino and Unique. All share the characteristic thick white stem and medium-to blue-green leaves.
An excellent source of Vitamin C as well as iron and fibre. 1 cup (250 mL) of raw chopped leeks contains 57 calories.
Leeks are associated with Wales. It began in 640 AD when Welsh soldiers wore pieces of leek in their helmets to distinguish themselves from their Saxon foes in battle.
Even today the leek is worn as the national "flower" of Wales on St. David's day.
But the vegetable has a much longer history. Leeks date back to the early Bronze Age, around 4000 BC. It is said they were part of the diet of those who built the Egyptian pyramids. And Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed the leek as a cure for nosebleeds.