Wild Leeks & Ramps at Earthy Delights

To buy wild leeks / ramps visit Earthy.Com

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Fresh Wild Leeks & Ramps


A Word About Ramps. . .

Do an internet search on ramps and you're likely to come up with a thousand (or more) different places where you can launch your boat.

But there's another kind of ramp - it's edible, it's delicious, it's mentioned in poetry, and it's even the subject of festivals and fairs.

Also known as wild leeks, ramps come into season early in the spring. They add zing to countless dishes and bring a pepper-y, spice-y taste to what might otherwise be an ordinary day.

Country folks have sworn by them for generations, but it's only in the last few years that world-class chefs have begun to discover the excellent flavor and wide variety of ways in which this most humble of vegetables may be used.

"Taste sweet silence chill the soul. Wild coyotes, eerie, prayerful. Winter solstice mist kissed cheeks. Sniffed aura of soil's wild leeks." . . .

from a poem entitled "Serene Sullivan"

Recently ramps have developed a real following, and have achieved near cult-status among many of the world's fine chefs.

Here, to get you started, are a few "ramp facts."

They're wild, and they have a wild flavor. The flavor is similar to onions, particularly like scallions, but wilder. They can be used just like scallions. Dice and sauté them and add them to eggs or fried potatoes. They're great in salads, and the more adventurous love their good wild taste in sandwiches.

There really are ramp festivals. They've been a staple of Southern Appalachian cooking for generations. These days, though, you don't have to live in Southern Appalachia. Many purveyors of gourmet food have been marketing ramps throughout the country.

If you're curious enough to want a few recipes, we've got some good ones for you. Click here for recipes

wild leeks and ramps
Wild Leeks / Ramps
Allium tricoccum

To buy Wild Leeks, visit earthy.com

"The products we received - Morels, fiddleheads & Ramps - were beautiful and fresh. ...Tasters loved the combination, and the ramps were especially wonderful."

The Detroit Free Press - 4/21/99

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Recipes with Wild Leeks
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Wild Leeks & Ramps


R
amps and Wild Leeks
are the same plant, a type of wild-growing onion generally presented fresh with the green leaves attached to the small white bulb.

Ramps and Wild Leeks are distinguished primarily by growing in different regions. Where they are found growing in the Appalachian range they are known as Ramps. Harvest in this region typically begins around the middle of April. A few weeks later they are harvested in the Great Lakes region where they are called Wild Leeks. There are slight differences between the products in that the Wild Leeks generally have a larger bulb and a slightly milder flavor, especially in the leaf portion.

Where Ramps grow they are the healer, solace and friend to Mountain Folks. Ramps are folk medicine said to keep away cold, flu and the neighbors! They are Spring Tonic personified. And they are STRONG!

In Appalachia Ramps have a stinky reputation. They are known and loved (or hated) for this powerful aroma.

In the Mountains of West Virgina Ramp Festivals sprout up to celebrate. Whole towns get together and stew up a mess or eat them raw. Halls are filled with folks feasted on Ramps, Dancin' and Stinkin'.

In the North people call them Wild Leeks. While the taste is the same, somehow in the north Wild Leeks never stir up quite the trouble that Ramps seem to.

The folk medicine reputation which holds both Ramps and Wild Leeks to be powerful healers turns out to be well deserved. They are high in Vitamins C and A, and full of healthful minerals. And they have the same choloesterol-reducing capacity found in Garlic and other members of this family. At Oregon State University research is going on to examine the cancer prevention capacity of Ramps and Wild Leeks.

Lest the reputation for excessive stinking scare you away from trying them, you should know that Earthy Delights sells Ramps and Wild Leeks (both) to some of the finest restaurants in America. No complaints about too much stink yet!

Selection

Good Ramps or Wild Leeks should have two or three whole bright green leaves with the small white bulb attached by a purplish stem. The leaves are generally about 6 inches long, although Ramps tend to be harvested at a somewhat earlier stage than are Wild Leeks.

Depending on where you get them Ramps or Wild Leeks may be still muddy from the field or all cleaned and trimmed. The key is that they be fresh. Yellowing or withering in the leaves is a sign that they have gone too long.


Handling Fresh Ramps /
Wild Leeks

A papery wrapper leaf (and some dirt) may surround the bulb and should be pulled off as you would with scallions. There may also be some roots which should be trimmed off along with their little button attachment. Once trimmed and cleaned the entire plant is tender and choice for eating.

Once Ramps / Wild Leeks have been trimmed and cleaned, store them in the rerigerator tightly wrapped to keep them from drying out. Use them as soon as possible after harvest.

Preparation

Ramps / Wild Leeks can be sliced thin to give an amazing flavor twist to a Spring salad. The very hardy may simply eat them raw. Or use them in cooking where a deep Earthy flavor will arouse the passions.

Ramps and Wild Leeks are also offered in the Summer after the greens are done as bulbs only. These may be used much the same way as Shallots but with a more energetic flavor.

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The Season for Ramps & Wild Leeks typically runs April 1 - May 31: begin with Ramps for about 3 weeks and then shift to Wild Leeks.

Fiddleheads, Morels & Wild Leeks
The Grand Trio of Spring

To better understand these products and enjoy them, visit wild-harvest.com

wild leek, morel, fiddlehead
Wild Leeks, Morels, and Fiddleheads

Wild-Leeks.Com is sponsored by
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