What are Ramps (Wild Leeks)?

Ramp Queens, April 1, 2014

You might have seen bundles of ramps or wild leeks at your local fresh food market, roadside stand or small grocery store and wondered what kind of vegetable they were.

If you have ever wondered just what ramps were and how to start cooking with them then this article will show you how.

So What are Wild Leeks (Ramps)?

Ramps are a member of the onion/garlic family and are often called “wild leeks” by many people. But anyone who has ever eaten farm-grown leeks then tasted wild leeks can tell you that there is little comparison been the powerful and pungent taste of a mountain-grown ramp and that of its milder store bought cousins.

While ramps look very similar to green onions, they have a much stronger flavor – like a cross between a strong spring onion and a garlic bulb.

Another noticeable difference is that ramps have distinctive red-colored stems, which I have always thought were Nature’s way of letting you know about the tasty punch of flavor contained in each little plant.

What Parts of the Ramps Can You Eat?

Every part of the ramp can be eaten – from white bulb or root, to the red-stems in the middle, to those wide dark green leaves at the top. The leaves have the mildest flavor, followed by the stems, leaving the truest ramp taste to be found in the bulbs.

Ramps can be eaten raw, as is, or added to a fresh spring salad – but be warned eating raw ramp bulbs are not for the faint of heart.

What is the Best Way to Cook Ramps?

The most popular way to eat or cook ramps is to fry them up and then add in other ingredients or to use them chopped and added into biscuits, cornbread and casseroles.

Now that you know a little bit more about ramps, feel free to nose around our website to see more…

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