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Leek, Allium porrum / Liliaceae (Alliaceae)
The origin of leeks is not very clear, although it seems to originate in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East, where they were already cultivated around 4000 years ago. They were also cultivated by the Egyptian and the Hebrews. The Romans introduced them in Great Britain, where it was highly appreciated. During the Middle Ages, leeks were one of the most popular foodstuffs in Europe.

The following table shows the countries with greater export of leeks. The main ones are Belgium, The Netherlands, France and China.

CountryTons
Belgium-Luxembourg54,837
The Netherlands42,189
France18,095
China11,938
Turkey 9,330
Mexico5,009
Spain4,438
Malaysia3,864
The United States3,459
Italy2,891

Source: FAO Trade Yearbook, 1999

The country with greater leek import is Germany, followed by Pakistan, Japan and France. The data of the 10 main export countries is gathered in the following table.

CountryTons
Germany44,888
Pakistan35,224
Japan29,537
France20,309
Sweden9,296
The Netherlands8,994
United Kingdom8,187
Malaysia6,100
Singapur5,865
Belgium-Luxembourg4,657

Source: FAO Trade Yearbook, 2000
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