Burdock is a large, herbaceous, dock-like plant common on uncultivated land. The roots are crunchy with greyish-white flesh and are prepared in the same way as salsify or asparagus. They should be cleaned but there is no need to peel them. They can be used thinly sliced or shredded in soups and stews. Young shoots and leaves are refreshing but slightly bitter and are used in soups or are eaten braised like spinach. Sometimes the larger leaves are used for wrapping butter or soft cheeses. In Japan burdock is cultivated.