Restaurants & Bars 13

A ramp (wild leek) trip!

M_ichel | Mar 29, 201207:39 PM

Hi all.

My sister and I are from the Montreal, Québec area, both retired and in our 60's.

We love eating ramps (also known in the US as "wild leeks"; here in Quebec, they're known in French as "ail des bois". Scientifically, they're called Allium Tricoccum).

As far back as we can remember, our family has enjoyed foraging for and eating ramps, in season. We'd have these huge picnics, maybe 20-30 people, on Mother's Day, at one of my uncles' brother's farm where we ate smoked meat sandwiches and ramps.

So my sister and I, having probably too much time on our hands for our own good, decided to make a trip to the US specifically to eat ramps.

We will be travelling from April 24 to May 4 and have rented a motorhome for that purpose.

At this stage, our itinerary would have two legs: from Montreal, down the western part of NY (through Syracuse) and PA (through Pittsburgh) states to West Virginia (maybe as far south as Richwood, WV); this leg would take 3-5 days. Then, for the second leg, cutting across through Albany, NY, we'd take maybe 3 days to go from Rutland, VT back to Montreal.

(By the way, this is the reason I'm posting this message in both the "Pennsylvania" discussion and the "Northern New England" discussion).

Our objectives for the trip are:

1- Eat ramps, eat ramps, eat ramps.
2- If possible, do some foraging (for ramps) ourselves.
3- We both love food and would like to sample local specialties along our route.
4- Maybe meet other ramp maniacs in person.
5- Visit points of interest along our route.

Our questions:

Do we really have to go as far south as Richwood, WV to find plentiful ramps?

I suspect that ramps are fairly abundant in western NY and western PA. If that's the case, how realistic is it to think that we could forage for ourselves? I mean: given a promising area, is it sufficient to ask permission of the owner of the land? Are such permissions usually granted? Is foraging on public lands (parks?) allowed?

Finally, we welcome all your suggestions regarding must-eat foods (NY-style cheese cake, shoo-fly pie and Cabot extra sharp cheddar are already on the list).

Of course, if fellow CHers were to point out specific areas for ramps, points of interest, etc., we'd be very grateful.

Thanks for your attention!

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