Ramp-mania is alive and well, but we caution you to — how do we put this? — chill the heck out. Ramps are victims of their own deliciousness, and Appalachian old-timers report that wild patches that have remained intact for eons (ramps are a perennial species) have been massively depleted.
For wild eating without the dirty fingernails and trampling of the flora, many local restaurants are beginning to offer ramps and other foraged edibles on their menus along with the turning of the season. Table, Jacob Sessoms’ modern-American restaurant on College Street in downtown Asheville, is really getting into the spring of things. Above is a photo of just some of the wild produce the chefs were able to pull out of the coolers when Xpress dropped by. At press time, Table had gorgeous red wood sorrel, day lilies, morel mushrooms, redbud blossoms, violets, violas and ramps. Remember, the season for some of these early spring plants is fleeting. Want to try them for yourself? Visit http://tableasheville.com for more information or to make a reservation.
Still intent on finding your own? Read on for an excerpt from The French Broad, a blog written by local food maven and community figure, Mark Rosenstein, about a past spring’s ramp harvest. Read it for tips on how to harvest ramps as well as a recipe or two, straight from Rosenstein’s kitchen. You may also refer to this week’s Eatin’ in Season for tips on where to buy ramps locally.
— Mackensy Lunsford