Taste: In Season Ramps


What it is: A relative of the onion, ramps (also known as wild leeks) have a bold, lingering garlicky-onion taste.

When to find it: Ramps are among the first greenery to pop out of the ground after the snow melts — and that’s when people start calling Reading Terminal Market’s Iovine Brothers Produce, asking, “Are the ramps in yet?” The season is short because ramps are just the young version of the leeks that will develop if the plant stays in the ground. Vincent Iovine expects that the last week of April and the first week of May will be 2007’s ramps window.

How to pick it: Look for firm bulbs with bright green leaves. “It should be pretty,” Iovine says. Ramps can be stored in a cool, dry place — but should be used as quickly as possible.

How to use it: In anything where you want that fresh onion flavor — soups, salads, even on top of a burger.