Monday March 9, 2009
Flag Pond 23rd Ramp Festival: Sponsored by: Flag Pond Ruritan Club
Come join the people of Flag Pond and the people of Unicoi County Tennessee at the 23rd annual Flag Pond Ramp Festival on Saturday, 10 May 2008 from 10:00AM to 6:00PM at the Flag Pond Community Center.
There will be a variety of live Bluegrass, Country an Gospel Bands playing your favorite ‘Down Home’ songs. A Clogging/Line Dance group is also scheduled to put on a performance for your enjoyment. There will be crafts and children's events.
Flagpond Ramp Fest Menu:
* Fried ‘taters and ramps
* Soup beans,
* A Drink
Enjoy the meal and for those that prefer, hamburgers and dogs will also be available.
Ramp...What is it?
Ramp, ( Allium tricoccum ) a wild plant and is a perennial spring ephemeral also called the wild leek, are a member of the onion family (Alliaceae). Which was a common spring staple in Flag Pond and this Appalachian Region of Tennessee and is widely distributed in eastern North America. Most of the ramps are used in Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.
All parts of the wild ramps are edible and taste like the sweetest green onion with a sharp, acrid sensationis accompanied by a vilest smelling odor when cooked. The key to eliminate the odor of cooked wild ramps is to eliminate its source. Keep in mind that cooked ramps leaves much less of an odor than raw ramps. Whatever we cooked for dinner, ramps is on the menu from middle of March to the end of May. Most ramps I have had is very mild and I like the odor. Most of my friends out of state wanted to try ramps the moment they heard about it, because they couldn't imagine wild ramps could smell that bad with the flavor of sweet green onion with a hint of garlic.
They are found:
Emerge in the springtime from the South Carolina to Canada and are especially popular in the Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia. Flag Pond and the southern Appalachians represent the southern edge of its range.
The colonies of ramps or wild leeks can be found in cove forests and northern hardwood associations thoroughout the Appalachian Mountains, in rich, dark woodlands near mountain streams and in the northern forested part of New York are colonies of ramps or wild leeks in the mixed of maple,beech and hemlock.
In Appalachia, ramps are most commonly fried with taters in bacon grease or scrambled with eggs and served with bacon, soup beans, coleslaw and cornbread. Wild leeks or ramps, however, are quite adaptable to recipes, they can be used just like onions and garlic and can also be used in soups, salads, puddings, sandwiches and others foods. Many of the world's fine chefs use the flavor of wild leeks or ramps in their recipes. A true ramp person like the flavor of wild leeks raw, but the powerful "leek odor" stays with one for days.
- In the Appalachian ramps have a stinky reputation
- Throughout the Appalachian mountain ramps are hailed with feasting at ramp suppers, dinners and festivals.
- Ramps grow wild throughout the Blue Ridge, Great Smokey Mountains and Appalachian mountains.
- Cooked ramps emit an obnoxious odor.
- They make an onion or strong garlic seem mild.
- Both the white root and the broad green leaves are edible.
- Whole towns in the Appalachia get together and Fried up a mess of wild leeks or ramps.
- Appalachians mountain folks treated insect bites with juice from the wild ramps or leeks.
- When it comes to whipping up something fast for breakfast, wild ramps or leeks.
- Spring cooking and ramps can be lots of fun if you make good choices.
They are legendary for the terrific odor which emanates from those who have eaten them. Each spring the community of Flag Pond holds a ramp festival.
Don't lest the reputation for excessive stinking scare you away from trying them. No complaints about too much stink yet from the town folks!
Called ramps in the Southern Appalachians, wild leek is a popular wild food. Plants from the south are said to be spicier than their northern counterparts.
Wild mountain ramps and Flag Pond Tennessee
The community of Flag Pond holds the annual ramp fest every May. Sponsored by the, Ruritan Club brings hundreds of ramp folks from considerable distances to sample foods featuring the wild plant.
For more info: Flag Pond 23rd Ramp Festival