Friday, April 6, 2012

Mmmmmm... Ramps!

Sly, Bag-O-Tricks, and Bookworm are staying in the room next door. Yesterday the latter two went hunting for ramps along the AT, and came back with a nice bunch.

Ramps are a wild leek that resembles a scallion, but with broad, flat leaves. The flavor is described as being like an onion, but with a very strong garlic smell. And they are pungent. Those who eat a big meal of them tend to be shunned by others ...

For days.

Because they are one of the first greens to grow in spring, their appearance in spring is a big cultural event throughout Appalachia. Large regional ramp festivals are held annually in North Carolina and West Virginia. Lately, ramps have become the darling of chefs and foodies.

For long distance hikers, who rarely get fresh veggies, they are a welcome addition to the evening cook pot. The bulbs and the tender leaves can be chopped up, and cooked any number of ways.

I'm looking forward to getting back on the trail, chopping up a small bunch, sauteing the bulbs in a little olive oil, adding some water, the chopped leaves, some jerky, and some couscous or bulgar wheat for an easy evening meal...

http://southernfood.about.com/cs/ramps/a/ramps.htm