Ramps are a wild onion with a strong garlic accent. They appear on our forest floor in early April, shortly after the maple sap stops flowing.
In our hands, ramps are hard to find, extremely difficult to cultivate, and hell to clean once dug out of a cold, wet, shaded, humic early spring ground in a clump. As a result, the forest to market manual labor cost for ramps is easily in person-hours per pound; and their shelf life is disappointingly short.
So why bother? Substitute ramps for scallions in a bowl of French Onion Soup and you will understand. Or for leeks in poultry stuffing. Or to add life to a garden salad. But do not forget to brush your teeth after a hearty meal of them!
You have been warned. If you still wish to be informed when our ramps may become available – and if you got this far you will – please send us an email with your contact information.
May we remind you that Chicago was named after ramps? The full story is in Wikipedia under Allium tricoccum, their botanical name.
The short version is that Chicago is said to be the sound of the Native American word for the foul-smelling weed that clogged the marsh at the mouth of the Chicago River before the rest of us arrived.