Ramps and Wild Leeks are the same plant, a type of wild-growing onion generally presented fresh with the green leaves attached to the small white bulb.
Ramps and Wild Leeks are distinguished primarily by growing in different regions. When found growing in the Appalachian range, they are known as Ramps. Harvest in this region typically begins around the middle of April. A few weeks later they are harvested in the Great Lakes region where they are called Wild Leeks. Wild Leeks generally have a larger bulb and a slightly milder flavor, especially in the leaf portion.
Handling Fresh Ramps / Wild Leeks: A papery wrapper leaf (and some dirt) may surround the bulb and should be pulled off as you would with scallions. There may also be some roots which should be trimmed off along with their little button attachment. Once trimmed and cleaned the entire plant is tender and choice for eating.
Once Ramps/Wild Leeks have been trimmed and cleaned, store them in the refrigerator tightly wrapped to keep them from drying out. Use them as soon as possible after harvest.
Preparation: Ramps / Wild Leeks can be sliced thin to give an amazing flavor twist to a spring salad. The very hardy may simply eat them raw. Or use them in cooking where a deep Earthy flavor will arouse the passions.
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