For three-quarters of a century residents of the quaint town of Richwood have been digging in the mountains, rolling up their sleeves and cleaning ramps for the biggest and oldest ramp feed in the U.S.
On April 20, the Richwood Area Chamber of Commerce will again sponsor the Feast of the Ramson, where approximately 1,500 pounds of ramps are cleaned and prepared to feed more than 1,000 people.
This year Southern Living chose Richwood as the place to attend a ramp festival as part of their “Best of the South.” Organizers said the fun part of the feast is seeing old friends, making new ones, and drinking sassafras tea, organizers said.
The feast includes a dinner of ramps with traditional Appalachian foods of ham, bacon, potatoes, beans, cornbread and homemade desserts. Dinner will be served from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. There will also be craft show from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and a ramp recipe contest at noon.
Throughout the day, the celebration features entertainment including bluegrass music and clogging. Featured entertainers this year are Marteka and William Lake, who play the old Flatt & Scruggs style of bluegrass on banjo and guitar.
Organizers said ramps have become the “in” thing with chefs in larger cities despite their humble beginnings in the mountain woods. Many pounds of ramps are shipped from Richwood to cities like Chicago and New York.
The ramson, known botanically as the American leek, has been the “piece-de-resistance” for springtime dinners and suppers from the early American settlements to hunters and campers, organizers said.
For more details on ordering advance tickets or entering the Ramp Recipe Contest, please visit the Chamber’s web site at www.richwoodchamberofcommerce.org/Feast-of-the-Ramson.html.