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December 08, 2016
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Take a walk on the wild side

"It’s time to amp up the ramp!" declared Callicoon's Kazzrie Jaxen.
TRR photo by Jonathan Fox

I stopped and chatted with Marion Kasselle (www.facebook.com/Maynard-Farms), who recommended the three-cheese ramp turnovers from a booth down the way (www.brandenbergpastry.com). Turning the corner, I bumped into a grinning Kazzrie Jaxen (www.kazzriejaxenquartet.com) having just eaten some ramp ravioli. “We only have a short time to ‘amp up the ramp,’” she laughed, “and I’ve heard it’s really good in eggs, so I’m off to whip up an omelet.” Speaking for myself, I’m pretty useless in the kitchen (OK, hold the jokes) and so it seemed wise to ask a professional’s opinion on the mighty ramp. I headed for the judging arena where I found chef and celebrity judge Peter Yurasits. Specializing in weddings and corporate functions, he revealed that he (www.finefoodaffairs.com) has added ramps in chocolate truffles, and on this particular Sunday “in honor of Cinco de Mayo,” he had macerated (Hmm, I learned a new word) ramps in tequila. “Finally, (IMHO) a practical application for this darn plant,” I thought, happily accepting the sample that Yurasits proffered before he and co-judge Jane Bollinger sampled dishes prepared with the local delicacy. Slow Food’s Sally Ann Parsons won the day with her ramp corn bread, made entirely with local ingredients—well, except for the brown sugar. From what I gathered, everything was delish. I still need to investigate the Ramp Tramp (a forager’s expedition that happened the day before), and McGlashan whispered something about next year’s Ramp Vamp, so my appetite has been properly whetted and I’m guessing that there’s more to learn. For now, the window of opportunity has closed. Long live the ramp.