Ramps: My longing for spring’s elusive delicacy


For a very short period of time, ramps are in season. This spring delicacy is a favorite, but can I find them.

Many people have favorite foods. From hamburgers to brownies to even a favorite cocktail. For me, I love all types of food. Truthfully, I am admit to being a foodie. Like some foodies and many chefs, I have a spring vegetable obsession, ramps.

Some people may be unfamiliar with ramps. This vegetable is similar to a leek, but actually it is an onion. Looking at them, people might think that the vegetable reasonable an onion. It has a small, white blub and a long, leaf stalk.

One of the reasons that a ramp is considered special is because it grows in the wild. Unlike other vegetables that are grown on farms or cultivated, the ramp is foraged. Due to the rise in popularity, ramp over foraging has become a concern.

Ramps: My longing for spring’s elusive delicacy

When spring arrives, the wild ramp appears. It is reason to celebrate the change of season and this delicious vegetable. The short window to enjoy them means people have to be quick to find and devour them.

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A ramp has a distinct flavor. It can be considered a cross between onion and garlic. Both the aroma and taste are strong. I wouldn’t advise sitting down to a whole plate. Still, these delicacies are wonderful when used in various dishes.

When I can find ramps, I like to cook them in various ways. Usually, I treat the bulb differently than the leafy stalk. The leaf portion usually has a milder flavor.

Since the ramp has a garlic, onion flavor, I like to sauté them in butter. With a coarse chop, a little bit can be used on some French bread as a crostini. Also, the ramp can be delightful in a quiche, soup or even combined with fried potatoes.

Many professional chefs will find creative ways to use a ramp in their seasonal menus. While I yearn to have the cooking talent of a professional chef, my creativity isn’t Iron Chef worthy. I usually stick with recipes that I know and trust when it comes to using this particular vegetable. I would hate to ruin the elusive ramp find.

Right now, my biggest problem is that I can’t find a ramp in my farmer’s market. While mid-western farmer’s markets, like Green City Market, often have this delicacies in droves, I’m in the South for a while and I’m going to miss the season. I’m really hoping that some local chef or my local produce place will find a few bundles to curb my craving.

Next: Roasted asparagus salad

If you happen to see ramps at your local farmer’s market or featured on a menu, don’t pass up the opportunity to try them. It is definitely a spring delight. And, if you happen to have some available, let me know. I’m willing to pay for them to be shipped to me.