Ramp Season Piques our Senses

In the middle of April, spring starts arriving in the Mountain State.  Redbud trees start to bloom, daffodils come out, and deep in the forest floor another plant comes to life — the ramp.

For those non-East Coasters, ramps are a wild leek found in our neck of the woods for a short growing season from mid April to sometimes early May.  They have been described as a combination of the onion and garlic families and are coveted by professional and home chefs alike.

Here in Southern WV, ramps are sold at Farmer’s Markets and found on seasonal restaurant menus.  Gnocchi with Ramps, Egg Frittata with Ramps, Ramp Leek Soup and even Ramp Pizza are area favorites and are items that are longed for throughout the other 11 months of the year.

If you’ve heard anything negative about ramps it probably was a story of the smell.  But don’t let the hype fool you – ramps are a delicacy.  Their delicate nature and short growing season alone make them in high demand, selling sometimes for $21-$35 per pound.  And while you can find them in a lot of southern cooks’ kitchens, you will find that seasoned chefs are just as impressed with their flavor.  Whether boiled or sautéed, ramps are a unique part of our state that not all are fortunate enough to try.

Planning a spring trip?  Don’t miss trying a dish made with this sacred herb.  Only make sure if you’re breathing this pungent odor, your traveling partners are eating it as well.


Here are two great resources for a variety of ramp recipes . . .



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