Courtesy of John S. Blue Ribbon Eggs, Franklin, NC
Ramps are a wild leek native to these mountains and have a flavor somewhat akin to a warm, sweaty gym sock that has laid around for about a week. The only reason I can figure that the old timers lov’m is after a winter of nothing but grits and corn bread and beans, anything fresh and green had to be ambrosia. Hunger is the best spice.
If you eat’m raw the scent comes out your skin and the local young boys used to go into the woods in the early spring and eat’m raw – they’d get sent home from school for a few days because the smell made everyone else in the class room sick! Then they could go fishin’ for trout! Especially common during spring turkey season. Yes, that’s the truth, I’ve heard it from dozens of folks, including my wife.
So Ramps are ‘hot’ and some big city chefs are paying $20+ a pound to make “Ramp Salad” – NEVER EAT RAMPS RAW! Although I hear they’re pretty good scrambled up with a mess of eggs. Not totally disgusting but I’ll pass; however I’m here to grow what folks want-ya’ll.