View Full Version : Ramps

10-06-2002, 22:04
At the request of Weasel I was going to write a little information about 'ramps', however, I am curious as to how many other folks know what they are and of any recipes using them. Look forward to reading the replies. Ed

SGT Rock
10-06-2002, 22:37
My uncle used to get them in the mountains near his cabin in NC. I only remember eating them raw.

The Weasel
10-06-2002, 23:03
C'mon, Walker...I'll add what you don't!!! People GOTTA know what a ramp is! YUM!

The Weasel

10-07-2002, 08:10
I cut them up and add them to ramen. By the way, I believe the Smokys have banned ramp collecting.

10-07-2002, 11:05
I have read it is a form of wild onion but someone PULEEEZZZZEEEE... tell us, give recipes for their use, show location where we might see a photo & description of one...

Good thread, and useful too!

10-07-2002, 14:17
A ramp is a wild onion. Think small leek or scallion. About 3" tall, with a diameter of around .5". Two or three green shoots identify its place in the ground. I don't have any pictures, though.

10-07-2002, 15:39
Yep, you are correct about them being wild onions, however they are somewhat stronger than most onions. They are normally used to season other foods just like onions or garlic can be used. I will try to locate a photo of them, but they are very common in the Southern Appalachian mountains. The growing season is very limited for them however so they must be gathered in late April after the shoots come out of the ground and by the middle or end of May the shoots have already died and they can not be found. If you are around Overmountain as I have been for several hikes you can find a lot of them in the area in early May and also many local folks gather them back behind the shelter. I will add a couple of little stories about them, one I heard last year that some hikers dug a lot of roots and thought they were ramps and cooked them up with their ramon noodles and that night they nearly all died or at least wished they could. They were deathly sick to say the least or so I was told. The other happened there at Overmountain Shelter to a lady that I was hiking with at the time, I had dug a few on my way down to the shelter coming from Carver's Gap, as had some other hikers that were there also. They were all cooking them and this lady decided she wanted to try them but they told her to just chew them they were good.. Well, her being from New Jersey and had never had them before, it was a shock to her to say the least. She did try them but the rest of the night she was trying to get the taste out of her mouth by eating most everything she had in her food sack. Some people that are used to eating them in that fashion would have no trouble but in her case, it was a little too much for her system.

Ok, Happy Trails and good Ramp hunting next spring.


The Weasel
10-07-2002, 20:17
I'm glad Walker did most of the explanation...I have a few additions:

I think ramps are more like a cross between an onion and a wild garlic. They have a VERY powerful flavor, and a small clove, minced, can make Lipton Noodles crash into the stratosphere of trail cuisine.

Annually, at about the same time as Trail Days, there is a "Ramp Festival" at White Top Mountain (hitchable from Damascus), where there is a ramp eating contest. The record is somewhere past 100. Egad.

The Weasel

SGT Rock
10-07-2002, 20:25
Link with pictures:


10-08-2002, 06:07
Great site. And did you notice their menu of Ramps, fresh mountain trout and all those fine southern side dishes for $5.00? I keep forgetting that the Appalachian streams are filled with trout and trout goes good with anything. It's funny how nobody ever mentions the mountain trout there, though, because for table fare, I doubt there is anthing better.

Maybe it has something to do with what we do. I guess the single drawback I have yet discovered with backpacking in general is that it gives one absolutely no time at all for fishing in those pristine lakes, ponds and streams we often walk beside. So many times I have looked down upon one of those almost untouched alpine lakes, nestled at the foot of surrounding peaks and watched the tell-tale ripples of hundreds of trout breaking the mirror-like surface of the crystal clear water and longed for a hook and line. But I have never carried it. Heck, my little pot couldn't even cook it anyway!

Work sucks! I need to go hiking!

SGT Rock
10-08-2002, 09:01
Nobody puts rules on hiking. If you want to take a break and fish, then do it.

I have met a few guys trout fishing while I hike, I don't think it would be feesable on a thru-hike, but on a section hike, that could actually be a cool thing to do.

10-08-2002, 17:03
I spend some time this spring with a hiker named "Kingfisher" from eastern North Carolina. He was looking forward to doing some side trails in the Smokies so he could fish. He had a map of the Smokies that showed all the fishing streams. I told him about some nice streams in Shenandoah also off the AT.

So, I guess the moral is that each of us has some different objectives as we hike along to Maine.

10-09-2002, 08:41
I was racing this spring to try to catch up with Kingfisher after I heard he was not going to hike the AT through the Smokys, but hike on side trails in the southern end portion of the park so that he could fish. Figured he must have been interesting. Alas, he entered the park about a day before I did.

Hammock Hanger
10-11-2002, 16:55
They guy I was hiking thru the Humps with collect a bunch. We tied them to the outside of his pack, phew :eek: Hiking behind him was a stinky expeience. The sauted ramps were out of this world!

Hammock Hanger

10-19-2002, 18:56
Just a few sites I found on Ramps & Recipes.




Lil Rebel
01-28-2003, 20:11
No more ramp collecting in the Smokies. They have banned the collection of them. I don't see why because they are quite common their but you know how National Parks are.