Ramps! So tasty! Mostly! (I like them well enough, anyway.) Where do they come from? The self-described ramp capital of the world is in West Virginia: I knew the ramp farm was somewhere in Richwood and the day after I called, I drove to the town. Richwood, population 2,039, is home to the longest, continuously running festival celebrating America’s native wild leek. (It started in 1921 and while one festival in Crosby, Tennessee, as I seem to remember reading, predates the one in Richwood, it wasn’t held this year. Perhaps there were others, at Legion Halls or churches, but Richwood’s claim seems to hold.) In Brooklyn or Baton [...]
"On a recent day, it was warm enough to grill outside. So she put on some shrimp, then chopped spring garlic and tarragon, the first green plants she had growing. As a cheat, she added zucchini that had been grown somewhere else where it was warm." There is no spring, only endless winter bleeding into an early summer, so of course there are no spring vegetables, except ramps, those false flags of spring, hundreds of pounds of them, hoarded for the monstrous "rare eater who spends January, February and March waiting for ramps," who would put a child to death if they thought their liver tasted clean, earthy, [...]
Ramps are fine. I will not bash any of the members of the House Of Allium, one of the most illustrious families of food. Tasty things can and have been done with them! But they are neither the only nor the best item that springtime has to offer. Eating seasonally does not necessarily require spending seven dollars on five tiny leafy scallions. This is not ramp season, my friends. This is a time of so much more. Here's a list of timely delicacies you should be gorging on, sans ramps.
SHAD and SHAD ROE Shad is a fish in the herring family, sometimes called a river herring. It migrates in [...]