HUNTINGTON — As the spring season begins, those in southern West Virginia are offered a chance to get a plant considered a delicacy by many folks — the ramp.
Ramps are a wild leek found in this neck of the woods for a short growing season from mid-April to sometimes early May. The plant has been described as a combination of the onion and garlic families.
While some people dislike the ramp’s “stinky” odor, it is coveted by professional and home chefs alike.
Ramps are currently being sold at The Wild Ramp in Huntington, at farmers markets, at some roadside stands and can even be found on some seasonal restaurant menus.
“We have received many calls and messages asking about ramps,” said Jamie Leigh, marketing coordinator for The Wild Ramp. “We have some now, but we are expecting a good amount of ramps this coming Sunday.”
She said the cost is $12 a pound. You can also pre-order by telephone at 304-523-7267 and pick them up.
The Wild Ramp, located in the city’s West End in Old Central City, is well known for its annual festival, StinkFest, which has been canceled again this year due to the pandemic. Instead, it will have a Ramped Up Farmers Market on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Come and meet our new chef and kitchen manager Jedediah Thornburgh while he whips up some ramp-inspired dishes,” Leigh said. “Vendors will be selling ramp goodies, and we will be debuting our new Wild & Wonderful Gift Boxes.”
There is no charge to the public for the event, Leigh said.
On Friday, April 23, the night before the Ramped Up Farmers Market, The Wild Ramp will host a five-course dinner featuring Thornburgh.
“Each dish will feature fresh ramps to tantalize your taste buds,” Leigh said.
The event is limited to 20 people. Tickets can be purchased on The Wild Ramp’s Facebook page. The cost is $75 per person.
“This is also a fundraising event for us,” Leigh said. “We want to thank the community for their continued support of local food and The Wild Ramp.”
The event begins at 6 p.m. with a meet-and-greet inside The Wild Ramp, followed by a brief presentation by a local farmer. The ramp feast will start at 6:35 p.m., Leigh said.
“If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at the store at 304-523-7267,” she said.