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Apr 25, 2013 06:30 AM

Ramps at RDU Markets

Anyone seen them yet?

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  1. Would love to find some fresh soft shell crabs locally as well :-).

    8 Replies
    1. re: D R C

      The recent drop in temperature has been devastating for fishing in general and particularly hard on the soft shell harvest.

      1. re: meatn3

        Weirdly enough, I was somewhere (my brain is feeling a little mushy right now and I'm having a hard time remembering where) recently and they had soft shells. I sort of poo-poo'd them saying that surely they were frozen, but I was told they were fresh. In my memory (cloudy) this was a nice place, so I kind of think they wouldn't have been making it up. To me it seems a little early for soft shells. If I remember where this happened, I'll let you know. I should add that I did not order them, despite the fact that softshells are one of my favorite things on earth (but I like them batterless, which is pretty hard to come by down here, even after lots of begging).

        1. re: LulusMom

          Both Sax Gen Store and Elaine's posted on Facebook that they had gotten soft shell in and were featuring them on this weekend's menu.

          1. re: bbqme

            Huh, thanks. I guess they're back. My favorite would be to make them myself but LulusDad gets squeamish about the whole process and refuses to eat them. Maybe Elaine's in the coming week ...

            1. re: LulusMom

              Had soft shells at Vin Rouge this evening - tempura battered. Not my favorite way to eat them but they were still amazing, served with fresh asparagus, aioli and toasted hazelnuts.

          2. re: LulusMom

            The only fresh soft crab is a LIVE soft crab.

            But a frozen one is 90% or better than a fresh no worries for me.

            1. re: JayL

              We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

        2. re: D R C

          Keep checking the Weaver St. markets - they've been featuring Core Sound Seafood, and I am sure soft shells will be part of the offerings as the season progresses.

        3. Just went on the Chapel Hill farmer's market website and ramps isn't showing up under the "what you'll find at the market" section. Here is a link for those who are interested: http://www.thechapelhillfarmersmarket...

          1. You all.. This is about ramps not seafood..

            1. LOL you were making me think about spring! Lots of ramps on the menu over at Pizzeria Toro last night, wonder where they are getting them. (Killer spring-produce salads and soup there.) Will let you know if I see any at the Durham market tomorrow.

              4 Replies
              1. re: D R C

                We haven't seen them at the Carrboro Farmers Mkt.

                1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                  So strange...I have seen them on area menu's lately.

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      They were from NC mountains...not sure what you mean by outsourced.

                      My point is NC growers/gathers have been supplying restaurants so I'm somewhat surprised we haven't had Farmers Market sightings at this point.

              2. Is it possible that this lousy weather we've had has put a damper on them? I know a lot of the flowers in our garden either didn't come out or came out very late this year.

                6 Replies
                1. re: LulusMom

                  Ramps grow in the mountains and are the first spring vegetable there.
                  They've been up for a few weeks now. There's a limited supply, and it's a short season, usually the month of April. The later in the season, the higher up you have to climb.

                  1. re: kizil

                    Right, but isn't it possible that this miserable spring might have made for a smaller supply?

                    1. re: kizil

                      I wonder if the low supply (possible) coupled with the fact that restaurants may get X% has dwindled what we have available to public purchase. I know that one restaurant has theirs sourced from the NW which is why I thought meatn3's ramps were outsourced and not from within the state. Not sure why they don't grow here. They are essentially garlic.

                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie


                        I agree with you. Ramps are related to wild onion which grows prevalently in many people's lawns here. Could be that we don't get cold enough here or a soil issue. I've never thought about cultivating them.

                        1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                          Here's what NC State has to say about cultivating ramps. Doesn't sound particularly easy.