Ramps, Wild Leeks, Allium tricoccum... whatever you choose to call them, they are up here in PA.
I hadn't ever heard of them until sometime in the late 90's David Winston gave a workshop at The Rosemary House in Mechanicsburg. He probably spent a good 30 minutes of a day long workshop on ramps, so it had us thinking they were worth seeking out.
Ramps are in the lily family, closely related to onions, garlic, wild onions and garlic, and shallots and leeks. They are enormously health-giving when eaten regularly, as are the others. Ramps are very pungent, and take a few days to move through your system. Some people will exude the "fragrance" through the pores of their skin for some time. However, given the antiseptic, and antiviral properties as well as the benefits to blood pressure and the respiratory system... well, who cares?
There are festivals around the country where the ramp is celebrated. Recipes compete and the celebrants eat their fill.
The picture above is one of the little patches we transplanted from Fred Will in Somerset a few years ago. They've taken very well and all of the patches are spreading.
If you have or find some ramps, here are some recipes you might like to try:
We have a lovely recipe (from Fred's wife Barb) for pickled ramps in our book -
Wild Foods for Every Table - available on The Essential Herbal website. Check it out!