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Ramps -- Wild Leeks

 

 


Wild leek or ramp
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantaeia
SubkingdomTracheobionta
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Liliopsida
Subclass:Liliidae
Superorder:Liliianae
Order:Amaryllidales
Family:Alliaceae
Subfamily:Allioideae
Tribe:Allieae
Genus:Allium
Species:tricoccum
Binomial name
Allium tricoccum

Wild leeks (Allium tricoccum), also known as ramps are a member of the onion family (Alliaceae). Both the white root and the broad green leaves are edible. They are found from the US state of South Carolina to Canada and are especially popular in the US state of West Virginia when they emerge in the springtime. Their smell and taste has been described by Akron Beacon-Journal food columnist Jane Snow as "like fried green onions with a dash of funky feet." Another description of the flavor is like a combination of onions and strong garlic.

The community of Richwood, West Virginia holds an annual ramp fest in the spring which brings hundreds of ramp fans from considerable distances to sample foods featuring the plant. It is most commonly fried with potatoes or scrambled with eggs, but can also be used in soups, puddings, ketchup, guacamole and other foods, in place of onions and garlic. True fans like them raw, but the aroma of raw wild leeks stays with one for days.

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