Friday, June 08, 2007

Food Porn Friday!!!


Ramps!


I'm posting this a bit late, as our ramps season is a bit past at this point. But they do grow as far north as Canada, so I'm supposing that somewhere the ramps are just about perfect right now.

The ramp is a small plant of the onion family that is the wild leek of the mountains. Its bulb has a very intense garlicy taste and the leaves are much milder. I actually like the leaves in salads or just plain. They are hugely popular in the Southern Appalachians and often large festivals are held for people to get together and gorge on these very strong flavored wild leeks.


Friend Scott and I attended the Cosby Ruritan Ramps Festival some weeks back. This ramps festival has been around since the 1950's and has been a traditional stump stop on many a political campaign. They've had musicians like Johnny Cash play there. It's a pretty big deal and one of the largest ramps festivals.


Rep. Eddie Yokley (D) with wife Carolyn and Friend Scott
in the background.

The gourmands have jumped on the ramps bandwagon with avengence. I've seen recipes combining trouffles and ramps. This is hugely appealing to me but is quite a foreign idea to folks around here. Now, chicken-of-the-woods or morels with ramps....I could get behind as being traditional.

The two preferred ways to cook these here are with eggs or with potatoes. Bacon grease is involved. I'll give you the traditional recipe for eggs with ramps.



Ramps and Eggs

A few dozen ramps
Salt to tast
6 eggs
thick cut bacon


Fry up your bacon in a cast iron skillet. When done, set aside on paper towels to drain. Pour off extra so you only have about a quarter cup of bacon drippings. Clean and cut up your ramps and place in the left-over bacon grease. Sprinkle with salt and saute until tender. Beat your eggs and scramble in the grease and ramps.

Serve immediately with cornbread and bacon.

5 Comments:

  1. Bad Alice said...
    Mmmm. Bacon grease. My mom used to save it up. Sigh.
    Betsy aka 'the goat yoda' said...
    I love bacon and I love it too much- we jones'd on it a few months ago, but we got better.....oh, damn, now I want bacon!
    seejanemom said...
    I have always felt that poverty produces the VERY FINEST of cuisine.

    Simple, elegant and pure.

    And all the wanna-bes try WAY too hard to recreate it in all their over rated five star SPAGOS. So sad.
    Mrs. Joseph said...
    I had never heard of ramps until two weeks ago when the food section of our local paper (LA Times) mentioned them in a recipe. The paper did not even say wht ramps are -- just included them in the recipe. Now I know. Thank you.
    Anonymous said...
    ... ramps are absolutely incredible..... our festival is coming up in Tellico soon... I can hardly wait..

    Eric

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