Tramps for Ramps


Ramps: Rumored to be the gorgeous mixed-race baby of garlic and onions. Neither Garlic or Green Onion would return my repeated calls for confirm whether those rumors were true.

Also called: wild leeks, spring onions, damsons, wild garlic, or little onions with fabulous hats

Ramps are found throughout North America, they have a flavor that is spicy that reminisces of strong garlic and onions together. It is pungent with a kick that strikes the tongue and a garlicky flavor that hits the sinuses the moment you bite into it.

The entire plant can be used. I’ve had pickled ramp stems, stir fried the leaves, and added  chopped ramps to salads. I’ve also made them into soup after trying it for the fist time at a cooking night with my friend, Gwen. When made into soup it looses most of it’s kick and retains a sweeter flavor. If strained, the taste is incredibly smooth. They are a great addition to any recipe that normally would require onions or garlic.

Distribution

Because of their popularity, Ramps are a threatened spices in some American states and Canadian provinces. In Quebec, it is illegal to commercially sell ramps and you’ll pay a fine if you get caught doing so; personal use and consumption is okay.

In Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee, ramps are a plant of special concern in regards to the level of threat posed to the plant. It is also considered commercially exploited in Tennessee.

In Arkansas, it’s considered a noxious weed.

It is delicious everywhere.

So if you happen to see a guy at your farmers market selling these things, do give them a try. You’ll be surprised at the spiciness and its versatility in foods. To store ramps, wrap them in a damp paper towel and keep in the fridge for a week.

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