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27 responses to “On a Ramp-age”

  1. Tina

    I’ve been hearing all the same hype over ramps for the last couple of years. In fact, up until about 2 years ago, I had never heard of them, then suddenly, they were everywhere. Celebrity chefs were using them all over the place and making me feel stupid, because I wasn’t familiar with them. Since I live in Central Pennsylvania, I’m sure I should be able to find ramps growing wild here. Where am I most likely to find them growing?

  2. Winnie

    This is a really great blog. I enjoyed this post and want to say thanks for mentioning my ramp and egg dish…that was the very first recipe I ever blogged about, by the way! I am adding you to my blogroll and I’ll be back to read more- your blog layout is very attractive and your recipes are wonderful!

  3. matt

    You are just too trendy sir. Next you are going to be wearing jeans around your knees, and turning your cap around backwards.. wait, is it sideways these days? heck I am too old to know.

    Anyhow, trendy or not, ramps are lovely. Great looking food there mate – simple preparations of first rate ingredients. Lovely honest food.

  4. Holly Heyser

    Matt, I don’t care what Hank does with his hat, but I will not tolerate him wearing his jeans around his knees. Unless, of course, he’s doing something I appreciate.

  5. Jen

    Hank – Do you know the latin name for the ramp? I wonder if it’s one of the wild alliums growing here in the UK, which would give me an excuse to raid your recipes for new ideas!

  6. Garrett

    The title of this post alone is awesome, but the post as a whole? You win the Internet today, Hank.

  7. amelia

    how wonderful! they are such a spring treasure. Love to “hunt” for them in the woods in secret places.
    Here’s another way I found recently to prepare them: ramp butter, to spread on toasted bread. (I found it here: http://www.ediblecommunities.com)

    Amelia

  8. ken Albala

    Hank, I totally forgot about the wild scallions or onions or whatever they were that grew in the lawn when I was growing up in New Jersey. Once as a kid I decided I needed to make onion soup out of them on an open fire. The neighbors of course panicked, called the cops, who were soon eyeing my soup with suspicion. Apparently it was NOT against the law to make a fire in your backyard. The cops didn’t want to taste either. I used the pit to cook for years thereafter and it’s still there.

  9. michele

    Great post! I was venting about ramps and have almost the same title on my post as you!

  10. Charles G Thompson

    Growing up in California I’d never really heard of ramps, and even living on the East Coast for a number of years I somehow missed them. Now I can’t get away from them (hearing/reading about them). Thanks for clarifying what they are and their provenance. Not sure either what all the excitement is about. One of these days I’ll have to try some to see.

  11. deana@lostpastremembered

    I have a friend who does a smoked ramp and salmon dish that I am crazy about. This ramp pasta really has my tastebuds going… i wonder if you could do it the medieval Italian way with pasta squares… because I think the flavor must be heavenly and so green and Spring-ful. Living in NJ, they are everywhere this time of year… I’ll let you know how ramp squares work!!!

  12. camillap

    These dishes all look fabulous. I wonder if your ‘ramps’ are the same as our ‘ransomes’ in England? (they look pretty identical) These seem to grow everywhere over here at this time of year. I have driven through some parts of the country where the smell of garlic coming from the woods is quite overpowering… stuck in London this weekend, so I might have to go on an urban forage and try out that pesto!

  13. Jen

    Thanks for the info on ramps/ramsons. Not that I’m obsessed, just a gardener by trade, but I started looking at our native flora. It seems we don’t have the tricoccum species, just ursinus. The stem is smaller and it’s got a very garlicy taste. It is what I gather as wild garlic. Is your species more oniony, delicate? Ours can be bitter, but perhaps its all in the preparation (I haven’t got your mad culinary skills!).

  14. Carol

    Great post! One of the (few) things I miss about my ten years of living in the Midwest is foraging for ramps in the spring. They were so good! And nobody else seemed to know about them…not trendy in Iowa at the time! I’ve found wild onions in California (if you’re ever in the Eastern Sierras in late spring/early summer, check out the aptly named Onion Valley area), but they just aren’t as good. Please let us know how your attempts at cultivation work out.

  15. Peter

    I started two ramp patches in two different spots near the house, and both are thriving. Hardwood tree shade and leaf mulch is all you need. An as you know, they make a wicked aioli. No doubt they are over-hyped, but at least they taste good, unlike fiddleheads.

  16. Elise

    Okay, so I know you’re not into Glee, but you really must see Jane Lynch doing Vogue http://is.gd/bsz1w

  17. Lily

    My parents made ramp butter last season, froze it and brought it out for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a lovely reminder of spring during the autumnal feast. And it was damn good on bread rolls! Highly recommended.

  18. Jonny

    It’s sort of iniquitous, isn’t it, that wildly foraged greens (not to mention mushrooms) should be sold at such outrageous prices – $10.95/lb? In our local (read: trendy) specialty food store in Brooklyn they had New Jersey ramps for $14.99/lb. For that kind of money, I’d actually consider setting foot in Jersey and foraging some myself (i kid of course, i love Jersey)! I also jogged past what I thought might be ramps in the park the other week, but felt somehow reluctant to chance picking and eating them. You know how it is. That said, i do like the look of your ramps agrodolce. They put me in the mind of a similarly springtide onion fest – the calcotada of Catalunya. I bet grilled ramps aren’t half bad with a romesco or salbitxada either. Nice work.

  19. otehlia cassidy

    I do love ramps, but I don’t buy them. I think the whole trendy onion thing got me, too. I have some wild “ramps” growing in my yard. They are much thinner than these ramps, but the flavor is definitely garlic-ey. Are those actually ramps? Like a garlic-y flat-leaved chive.

  20. Rivka

    Great post: during ramp season, I often see the same old recipes posted ’round these parts, and you did a nice round up of less conventional recipes. I’m excited to try that ramp pesto!

  21. Jennifer

    My parents have wooded property that is overrun with ramps every spring. In southern West Virginia, you can’t give ‘em away. Foraging is mostly non-existant in the area.

    That being said, I’d like to try my hand with some next spring!

  22. sl

    Hmm….hard to believe they considered trendy now in some places, or that anyone would say foraging is non-existent in the Southern WV area. Having grown up in Southern WV, we looked forward to ramps every year, and I still do. My family and I likely fit into the over-enthused category, but in January and February folks are already looking forward to scraping back the snow and finding ramps. There are those who are stuck up and hate the smell, but by and large people look for them and enjoy them. I am always ready to go home and get some. So far as the foraging in Southern WV, maybe I am just in another social circle, but ramps, creecy greens, lambs quarters, wild berries, and other foodstuffs, as well as ginseng to sell… tons of folks forage. You’d just be giving your ramps away to those who aren’t in good enough shape to go out and get their own. However, some produce places do sell them.

  23. Steve

    The Latin name is Allium tricoccum. Chicago originally was rife with them; the word for ramps in the Illinois and Miami languages was mispronounced by the French as Chicagou, so the name Chicago literally means “Rampsville,” or something like that. Ramps can be found in the city limits only in a very few places that have not been affected by development.

  24. MICHAEL DINOFF

    I have only eaten ramps raw in salads. I have been eating them for years, but until a few days ago on the advice of a food person at the store I was buying them at did I try a stir fry with asparagus and ramps in olive oil. I now plan to experiment with some of the ideas in this column.

  25. Justina

    Before I started my venture here in NJ to find leeks it turns out its not as easy as I thought it would be, I have been searching high and low for ramps and finally came across 2 small patches of them on my brothers hill by accident looking for morel mushrooms. Im hoping that leaving most behind they will multiply for the up coming years. I have to say IM hooked on them. Finding ramps made me more excited than finding my morels this year. I made a ramp morel pizza that was just amazing, Ramps and Green beans on the grill served over trout.

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