Wild Ramps – A Brief Introduction

Before I get started here, I would like to welcome you. I am Bucky from bloggingwv.com. I started out selling Wild Ramps over there a few years ago, with much success. I have recently felt the need to start a new website with a more professional look, that is fully dedicated to nothing but ramps, including recipes. I assure you that you will receive the same quality service that you are accustomed to receiving from me even though my look is a little different this year. So once again, welcome to the new place.

I figured I would start out my new place with some interesting facts about Wild Ramps. Hey, I have to have something to do while I wait for them to grow!

Wild Ramps Characteristics

Allium tricoccum (commonly known as ramps or wild leeks) is an early spring vegetable, a perennial wild onion with a strong garlic-like odor and a pronounced onion flavor. Wild Ramps are found across eastern North America, from the U.S. state of South Carolina to Canada. They are popular in the cuisines of the rural uplands of the American South, and also in the Canadian province of Quebec. Wild Ramps also have a growing popularity in upscale restaurants throughout North America. A lot of high profile Chefs charge high prices for small portions of this amazing Ramps vegetable.

The ramp has broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems, and a scallion-like stalk and bulb. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible. The locals prefer the bulbs much more than the leaves. In fact, a lot of folks will discard the leaves once they get large and use only the bulbs. The flower stalk only appears after the leaves have died back. After the flower dies off, there is a seed pod remaining that contains 10 to 15 seeds. Wild Ramps grow in groups strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil.

In Canada, ramps are considered rare delicacies. Since the growth of Wild Ramps is not as widespread as in Appalachia and because of destructive human practices, ramps are a threatened species in Quebec. Allium tricoccum is a protected species under Quebec legislation. A person may have Wild Ramps in his or her possession outside the plant’s natural environment, or may harvest it for the purposes of personal consumption in an annual quantity not exceeding 200 grams of any of its parts or a maximum of 50 bulbs or 50 plants, provided those activities do not take place in a park within the meaning of the National Parks Act. The protected status also prohibits any commercial transactions of Wild Ramps; this prevents restaurants from serving Wild Ramps as is done in the United States. Failure to comply with these laws is punishable by a fine. However, the law does not always stop poachers, who find a ready market across the border in Ontario (especially in the Ottawa area), where Wild Ramps may be legally harvested and sold.

The last paragraph is hard to grasp for me since I was born and raised in West Virginia. Maybe Wild Ramps just grow exceptionally well in the area in which I live because no matter which way I turn in the woods there are Wild Ramps. I can’t fathom a world right now without Wild Ramps in it. That would be a sad world….sad indeed.

Wild Ramps

2 thoughts on “Wild Ramps – A Brief Introduction”

  1. Most of my family is from the Belington/Junior area…they mailed us a box of ramps to GA one spring and the postman demanded to know what left such a funk in his truck!!

    My Grandma always told me that if kids ate ramps during the week – they were not allowed to return to the school house the next day. I’m sure there are many more “ramp” stories. Do you have any?

    1. Actually when I was in school if you ate RAW ramps you were expelled from school for 3 days. The aroma of the ramp comes out of all your sweet glands and can take up to 3 days to leave the body. Cooked ramps do not have the same side-affect. When cooked the ramp is sweet to eat, very delicious.

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