Forest-harvested ramps — the new truffles?

“Ramps are wild onions that Native Americans have harvested for thousands of years. They’re also a staple ingredient in traditional Southern Appalachian kitchens. Over the last several years, the bold-tasting green has become wildly popular among foodies, apt to appear on the menu of a trendy restaurant or bunched at farmers’ markets.

“[Forest resource specialist Tommy] Cabe said forest-harvested ramps fetched as much as $50 per gallon last year. ‘That’s a pretty good economy for someone who can spend a day in the woods,’ he said. The website Earthy.com listed the retail price of one pound of fresh ramps for $15.95, though currently out of stock in the off-season.

“While a permit is required to harvest ramps from national forests, not everyone follows those regulations, which can be difficult to enforce. As a result, Cabe and other gatherers must go deeper into the forest to find healthy plants….”

Wouldn’t Thad Eure be tickled!

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