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Mar 9, 2009 06:41 PM

Ramps anyone?


Has anyone seen any yet? It's soon ramp season and well, Oooh, I can't wait.

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  1. I thought it was illegal to sell them in Québec and you sorta had to know somebody to get your hands on them.

    Is this not the case?

    8 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy

      Yup. As far as I know this is the case. You need a hook-up, or go out to the wild and gather them.

      1. re: emerilcantcook

        Hmmm, hook up - yeah, that's what they call it.

        1. re: maisonbistro

          Are ramps the same thing as garlic shoots? If so, you may want to call Stephen Homer at Ferme Zephyr and see if he's got any extras to sell. Not sure if he still grows them, but he used to.

          1. re: kpzoo

            I believe ramps is the American name for wild leek (ail des bois).


            1. re: SnackHappy

              Yup - luscious, flavorful, delicate wild baby leeks. YUMMMMMMM

              I don't get why they are so prevalent in the States (I mean Batali uses them by the barrowful on ICA) and not allowed here. Arrrgh Ramps and Jif.

              1. re: maisonbistro

                Everything I know I found on

                Allium tricoccum (or ramps) is a protected species under Quebec legislation. A person may have wild leek in his or her possession outside its natural environment or may harvest it for the purposes of personal consumption in an annual quantity not exceeding 200 grams of any of its parts or a maximum of 50 bulbs or 50 plants, provided that those activities do not take place in a park within the meaning of the parks act. The protected status also prohibits any commercial transactions of wild leeks, this prevents restaurants from serving wild leek as is done in West Virginia. Failure to comply with these laws is punishable by a fine. However, the law does not always stop poachers, who find a ready market across the border in Ontario (especially in the Ottawa area), where wild leeks may be legally harvested and sold

                1. re: Arktik

                  Ramps, like wild mushrooms are only found in the wild and there is not enough "supply" to sustain the demand. Just the same as most fish in the maritimes unfortunately.

                  My wild guess is that because of the more clement weather, ramps are more plentiful in Ontario and/or Virginia than here.

                  I picked some up in Ottawa last year at By Market, and the sellers suggested quebec buyers to keep their invoices.

                  They are delicious BTW.

              2. re: SnackHappy

                Ah - mixed it up with "scapes" - thanks, SnackHappy!

      2. We try to keep our boards focused on where to find great chow locally... and legally. We're not the right place to debate the reasons behind local regulations, so please help us keep this discussion focused on the non-political aspects of this topic.

        We are going to leave this discussion open in case there are valid legal sources available in this area.

        If the only legal sources turn out to be in Ontario, it would be great if you could post a thread there asking for places near the border, so that the specific information is on the board where people are likely to look for it in the future, and leave a link here to that discussion, so Quebec posters can find the information easily.

        We'd also ask posters to avoid a discussion of where to forage for ramps. Foraged food can be dangerous to the uninformed and we'd hate to be the cause of someone getting information that might lead to poisoning. In addition, such discussions don't generally go anywhere. Chowhounds are a generous bunch on most points, but we've yet to meet the foraging hound who is willing to give up his/her secret spots for the best foraged food on a message board read by over a million people (and with good reason!)

        1. I saw the thread title and thought it was asking about wheelchair-accessible restos. Then I'm like, "wtf is a ramp?" until kpzoo's post.

          Wild leek, op, just call it a wild leek aka ramp. Not in this case, but I've seen threads like this where the arcanely described item was right in the chain grocery store (under the plain english name). It may help future searches.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Shattered

            Well shattered, if you look it up in Webster's or Wikipedia, you will see that "ramps" is indeed the appropriate term. It is also widely used in the culinary field, of which I am a part. So, if I'm looking for escargots, I won't post about snails - I will post about escargots.