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Grilled ramps (with blue corn bread and rhubarb butter) from Diner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. [Photograph: Adam Kuban]

Time's Josh Ozersky tries to get at the heart of what makes ramps so friggin' beloved by foodies:

What makes ramps ramps is not their flavor, you see, but their cultural value. David Kamp, the author of The Food Snob's Dictionary, offers this explanation to Time: "The ramp is not a salad green, but it is a green vegetable, and it is the first legitimately green thing that appears from the ground in April, a month that, in terms of farm yield, is otherwise an extension of winter. For food snobs, therefore, ramps are overcelebrated and overly scrutinized, like the first ballgame played in April, even with 161 more games ahead."

Related: How to Pickle Ramps »
How to Make Ramp Compound Butter »

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