Sunday, April 24, 2011

In season

When Digging for Ramps Goes Too Deep -

Long revered as a spring tonic — a nutritious green treat after months of dusty potatoes from the root cellar — ramps grow wild in the woods from Georgia to Quebec. In the South, ramp festivals have been held for generations.

But since the early 1990s, the garlicky allium, with a slender white bulb, dark red stem and succulent green leaves, has gone from a Southern belle to a big-city starlet, with breathless articles in glossy magazines, top billing on restaurant menus and a paparazzi-like reception when the first crates arrive at farmers’ markets in April. And while many people have never understood what the fuss was about, the local-food movement and a growing interest in wild and foraged plants have fueled demand and pushed prices as high as $12 a pound.


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