The ramp or wild leek, is a wild onion native to North America. The bulb resembles a scallion, but the flat, broad leaves set it apart. According to John Mariani, author of “The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink,” the word ramp comes from “rams,” or “ramson,” an Elizabethan dialect version of the wild garlic.
Ramps grow from Tennessee to Canada, and in many areas they are considered a spring delicacy and even a reason for celebration. The flavor and odor of ramps is usually compared to a strong garlic.
The festival brings hundreds to the camp each year to enjoy the traditional meal while bluegrass music is played. The traditional meal includes ramps fried in eggs, streaked meat, fried potatoes, white beans and cornbread. All proceeds are used for the operation and the upkeep of Camp McCroy.
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