Allium tricoccum (commonly known as ramp) hysteria starts now.
Wild leeks, or ramps, start showing up at farmers’ markets and high-end grocery stores in early spring. Over the past handful of years, the ramp has taken on an almost ungodly place in the mind of locavores and foodies. It’s been hailed as the true symbol of spring: the antidote to a long winter eating root vegetables. Ramps grow wild in rural, fertile areas, along riverbanks and in woods with moist soil.
In NYC, local ramps (from New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania) have yet to appear, but ramps from further south and even California are on the menus of some hot restaurants already. You can also find them at Eataly.
And if you want the full ramp experience, head to Hudson, N.Y. on May 2 for the fifth annual Ramp Fest. Chefs from NYC and the Hudson Valley will be preparing dishes with ramps for tasting. This is a great experience to learn about the wild vegetable and eat it, too.