Despite the experience you encountered opening your door these past few days, Spring is extremely close. Four days to be precise, especially so if you place your trust in meteorological calendars and sun-worshipping pagans.
With Spring comes sunlight and photosynthesis and the growing of things out of the ground and the insane fawning over a vegetable which—taste and appearance-wise—is no different than that of a green onion, but through a strong online branding campaign (no doubt headed up by a boutique PR agency out of DUMBO) has become more popular than anything in else in its genus (which includes delicious garlic).
I’m talkin’ ’bout ramps.
Oh, you’ve never heard of ramps? Well then, you are most likely a man. But that’s why you are here. Brace yourself, because in the next few weeks, this fickle vegetable will make an appearance, like an edible Punxsutawney Phil, and you will be inundated with the phrases such as “OMG RAMPS” and “Look. At. These. Ramps.”
Believe me, bros. They will be everywhere come April. But I’m here to help you through the season with this easily digestible (just like food!) Q&A.
What is a ramp?
It’s an onion.
… Okay. There’s gotta be more to it, right?
Correct. It’s an onion that only grows on the Eastern Seaboard in early spring. Then, they are purchased by chefs who have that tattoo of the six parts of a pig on their forearm, and then are worked into a basic fettuccine dish with some peas and heavy cream.
Pretty much. Some people put ramps on pizza, too. I’ve never tried it.
So why do people fawn over them?
Mostly because women like having things in life that are easy to get excited about. “Oh. Ramps!” “Yay! Cava!”
Also, because unlike tomatoes and avocados, which are available year-round, ramps fashion themselves an Allium Tom Wolfe, only making their appearance for about three weeks a year. It’s a scarcity thing. Tell people they can’t have something and they freak out about it, even if they live 94.3% (I did the math) of the year without ramps.
When will I know when it’s ramps season?
There are currently several women in every city who fashion themselves “foodies” and have blogs they infrequently update who are scouring every local farmer’s market.
These women believe themselves to be modern-day Ferdinand Magellans, the last day of ramp season 2013 akin to the 16th century explorer leaving Patagonia behind and heading into the vast Pacific. Much like his crew kept watch for dry land, these ladies have been pestering local farms. “So when will the ramps be here?”
Then they will Instagram a picture of them, still unwashed, with the caption “Spotted: RAMPS” and 16 different indecipherable emojis.
Then it’s ramps season.
Okay. But can I use ramps to get me laid?
Yes, of course. There are two methods; one I don’t recommend. Let’s start with that one first.
Cooking with ramps!
While you can certainly invite your girlfriend or crush over for a sublime meal of fettuccine and peas and cream sauce topped with ramps, this method requires one large hurdle I genuinely dislike. Procuring ramps. For you can not simply go to Giant and buy ramps. You must go to the local farmers’ market and look for one booth with a cute sign like “Pattons Farm is Ready to Ramp and Roll.”
If you go about this method, though, you will forever be known as the guy who went to the farmers’ market to buy ramps to impress a girl. How are you going to explain that to your boys?
So it’s on to method two.
Going to a restaurant that serves ramps!
Unfortunately, this too has its drawbacks, because you can’t go to any old restaurant. You can’t take a girl to Outback Steakhouse for their Blooming Ramps, despite how delicious that sounds. No, you need to go to one of those restaurants that prominently displays its ingredient sources on a chalkboard and doesn’t have an online menu because the chef changes it daily according to “what’s fresh.”
Those are the restaurants that will have ramps. And you can take a girl there, and tell her how excited you are about trying ramps and how it’s your favorite time of year because the spicy green onion is just the perfect sign that spring and warmth are right around the corner.
Yea. That’ll definitely get you laid.
[Ramps via Shutterstock]