Ramps – a taste of the season

We were at the grocery store on Sunday when Erin’s keen eye noticed a few packages of ramps, which I had recently mentioned to be on the lookout for (along with fiddlehead ferns and fresh morels).

For those unaware, ramps are only available in the early spring and are essentially baby wild leeks.  From my understanding they grow very well in West Virginia.  Additionally, the name of the city of Chicago comes from an Indian word meaning “smelly onion” (or something very like it) which were reported to be ramps by early settlers.

Now I’ve never eaten ramps before but I knew enough to just leave them alone – I sauteed them in some olive oil for a minute or two and seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  I just wanted us to taste them for what they are, which is a pretty mild onion/leek flavor – pretty delicious and very springlike.  If they weren’t so expensive (a package containing 8 was 0.15 lbs and cost $2.50 – thus making them cost $16.67/lb) it might be nice to make some type of a soup out of them.

If you see them around I highly recommend picking them up for a taste.


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