May 01, 2003

Take a Leek

Bet 99% of you never saw... or smelled... the kind of leek I'm talking about. I refer of course to the much maligned native northeastern American plant called the RAMP (Allium tricoccum), also known as the 'wild leek'. They grow in rich moist woods across a wide swath from Nova Scotia to as far south as nothern Georgia and Alabama. It's flavor and aroma is a bit like a cross between an onion and a garlic, but on steroids.

Guess what: Ramps have become haute cuisine and sell now for about $11 a pound. These sleek members of the lily family make a great addition to a homemade ham sandwich, I want to tell you. A friend and I 'discovered' ramps all around us twenty years ago when we had first moved up to Virginia from Alabama, and thought we needed to celebrate by eating a few. Wife declared upon our return from the woods with a mess of 'em, "If you come in with those, I'm going out". We did, and she did.

Yes, they're that strong.

Posted by fred1st at May 1, 2003 04:54 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Never really smelled the things until you slice them up and put them in the dehydrator - now THAT is some smell!

Posted by: bogie at May 2, 2003 06:58 AM

Fred:

Remember my ramp adventure at the Mt. Rogers Naturalist Rally, "back in the day"? I was on the salamander walk with a local biology professor and a group of 10 or so. I found a ramp or two along the way, cleaned them off in some running water nearby, and ate them.

I'm at the BACK of the group, downwind, okay, and we're walking along. Suddenly the professor turns around and says, "Who's been eating ramps?" I meekly raised my hand.

He points an accusing finger at me. "YOU! You can just stay back there for the rest of the walk!"

It's crazy, the way the smell just oozes out of your skin after you eat them. But they sure were good!

Posted by: Curt at May 2, 2003 10:54 AM

Try them sliced on a thick slice of freshly baked wheat bread slathered with unsalted butter or fresh cream cheese if you can get it (forget the slimy packaged stuff)...good with White Icicle radishes too.

Posted by: feste at May 3, 2003 01:30 PM

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