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Time to Ramp It Up

Ramps, better in the wild. (Associated Press)

In Wednesday's Post Points tip via e-mail, I mentioned that our area Wegmans stores were waiting to hear about if and when they'd be selling ramps, those wild leeks that grow in the great expanse of the Great Appalachian Valley.

The affirmative answer -- by next Thursday -- came from Richard Leibowitz. He's at Culinary Specialty Produce of Mountainside, N.J., a produce wholesaler.

You've probably seen ramps at farmers markets in the past week or so, and they should be around a bit longer. Leibowitz says they will arrive at Wegmans stores within 24 hours of harvest. The seasonal specialty thrives in the wild, but not so much in gardens or greenhouses: "Companies in California and other growers have tried to cultivate them, and they have failed," Leibowitz says.

Wegmans stores should have them in stock for the next 3 to 4 weeks.

P.S. I had an hors d'oeuvre with pickled ramps last night at a Slow Food event. Woo-hoo! Recipe coming next week.

-- Bonnie Benwick

By The Food Section  |  May 1, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
 | Tags: Bonnie Benwick, shopping  
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How do you keep them fresh? A bunch I bought on Sunday didn't even make it to Wednesday before becoming limp and mushy.

Posted by: arleneivana | May 1, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Four days would be about tops for storing ramps in the fridge, arleneivana. They're best when used right away, because they're not cultivated to be sturdier, like scallions. Try wrapping the root ends in damp paper towels.

Posted by: benwickb | May 1, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I got a pound of ramps a few weeks ago and kept them in a large plastic container frequently used by restaurant distributors. I poked some holes in the lid and bottom to let them breath and covered the ramps with a damp kitchen towel.

I pickled all the bulbs right away, and played with the green tops all week. At 5 days they were still bright and green, at which point I'd used them all.

There's a picture of the container here but anything that doesn't crowd and lets them breath would work...

Posted by: sreitz2001 | May 1, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Sounds pretty cool. I was a fiddlehead fan when I lived in Boston. They're not easy to find here (I saw some at Harris Teeter). I wonder if they'd work sauteed and added to a risotto.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 1, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

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