Taste WV’s wildest food
West Virginia’s favorite pungent perennial peaks in April!
Taste this garlicky, oniony ramp across the state in community dinners, your favorite restaurant specials or even as part of specialty wines and jellies.
Here’s where to find ‘em:
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 grandaddy of all Appalachian ramp feeds features a menu full of ramps, ham, bacon, potatoes, brown beans, cornbread and sassafras tea.
Or, head on over to 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. Or join the Lumberjack Competition and Ramp Feast at Camp Creek State Park, where you can get your fill of ramp casserole while watching lumberjacks and jills saw away.
West Virginia restaurants highlight this stinky wild leek every season. Bluegrass Kitchen in Charleston has had 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 will 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.
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.
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 on over to the Lost River General Store to pick up a jar. Or,, stop by pretty much any West Virginia festival during the spring to find a variety of ramp jellies, ramp salsa and other ramp goodies from home cooks.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy ramps?
This post was last updated on October 19, 2017