All About Ramps
It’s time to make the most of ramp season. Ephemeral wild ramps (also known as spring onion, wild leek, wood leek, and wild garlic) are considered rare delicacies in some parts of the world. They’re considered a species of special concern in Main and Rhode Island and “ramp festivals” generally aren’t encouraged because it would mean harvesting them in unsustainable quantities. In Canada, ramps are banned for commercial sale, but there is a black market where illegal foragers pull up ramps to sell to chefs on the QT. Fines for ramp poaching run into the thousands of dollars.
If you’re fortunate enough to find ramps in small quantities at your local farm or farmer’s market, give them a try. The flavor of a ramp is somewhat like a cross between a leek and garlic. They’re quite tasty and are also good sources of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. All you need to do is cut off the end, strip off any dead exterior and wash thoroughly. Yes, you can eat the leaves. Make a game plan though, because they’re expensive.