Taste Almost Heaven’s Wildest Food

West Virginia’s favorite perennial peaks in April. You can taste delicious, oniony ramps across the state in community dinners, your favorite restaurant specials or even as part of specialty wines and jellies.

Here’s where to find them:

Community feasts

Get some grub at a community ramp dinner. The Annual Feast of the Ramson is in the self-proclaimed ramp capital of the world: Richwood. The most prominent of all Appalachian ramp feeds features a menu full of ramps, ham, bacon, potatoes, brown beans, cornbread and sassafras tea.

You can also visit Elkins for its Annual Ramps & Rails Festivals, where you can vote for your favorite ramp recipe while enjoying live music, fun games and other ramp-filled foods. Alternatively,  join the Lumberjack Competition and Ramp Feast at Camp Creek State Park, where you can get your fill of ramp casserole while watching lumberjacks saw away.

Restaurant specials

West Virginia restaurants highlight this state favorite every season. Bluegrass Kitchen in Charleston has dishes like ramps with pasta or Johnnycakes, and sister restaurant Tricky Fish has served up steak tacos in corn tortillas topped with a mix of grilled peppers and pickled ramps. Just down the road, Starlings Coffee and Provisions created a sourdough pizza with a Parmesan Alfredo sauce, bacon, asparagus and ramps.

Other restaurants put a fancy spin on the traditional foraged food, like Fish Hawk Acres in Buckhannon, which sometimes has a “Fancy Ramp Dinner” with dishes like a cornmeal-crusted West Virginia rainbow trout with citrus brown butter and ramp vinaigrette.

Foraging

If you’d rather get down and dirty, the Elkhorn Inn & Theater has a “Foodie Foraging Excursion” for ramps, where guests ride an ATV up “ramp mountain” and forage for wild ramps. Then, you can work with Chef Dan to make ramp pesto or pickled ramps with your bounty.

Take-home tastes

Want fresh without the foraging? Hop on over to The Wild Ramp in Huntington or other locally sourced grocery stores to get your fill of fresh ramps without doing the dirty work.

If you’d like some ramp goods to take home, stop by Kirkwood Winery in Summersville to taste the Appalachian ramp wine— perfect for cooking. Add some extra Appalachian taste at Heston Farm Winery, which combines corn whiskey with spring ramps to make its Ramp Shine.

If pickled ramps or ramp mustard is more your style, head over to the Lost River General Store to pick up a jar. You can also stop by most West Virginia festivals during spring to find a variety of ramp jellies, ramp salsa and other home-cooked ramp goodies.

What’s your favorite ramp-inspired recipe?

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This post was last updated on May 6, 2019