April is the cruelest month: We just had to pay taxes and warm weather continues to flirt. But the saving grace is knowing that ramp season isn't far behind.
This pungent plant--which smells like a cross between onions and garlic--emerges for only a few short weeks each spring, sparking riots of excitement among those who love them (you know who you are).
Ramps grow abundantly in the Appalachian central belt, where you'll also find festivals devoted to the allium all spring, especially in Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. One of the best is the Feast of the Ramson, in Richwood, West Virginia, which is celebrating its 71st year. And at the Ramp Tramp Festival in Polk County, Tennessee, you can hunt, harvest and eat ramps over a three-day celebration.
Even city dwellers can get in on the action. Watch your local farmers' markets for the season's first ramps, or order them online from earthy.com, where one pound of stink will run you $11.50.
New Yorkers can hunt for their own ramps with naturalist Steve Brill. During his upcoming forage hikes ($15) in NYC and Connecticut, Brill will share his secret sources for all types of edible spring plants (including ramps) and make you wish that April would never end.