The Bear's What??

Posted by Alayne Gardner-Carimi on

The Bear's What??

There are zesty, garlicky-and-oniony wild greens, commonly called “ramps” in English. It's a member of the allium family, which includes onions, garlic, scallions, and leeks. Ramps goes by many names: wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wild leeks, wood garlic, ramson, and buckrams. In German it’s referred to as Bear’s Garlic (Bärlauch) because brown bears like to eat the bulbs of the plant (as do wild boar, but for whatever reason, the boar didn’t get naming rights!) 

Gourmet Flavor 

More flavorful than scallions and leeks, but not quite as potent as garlic or bulb onions, ramps can add a fantastic earthy and savory quality to your recipes. They have always been popular among forager gourmets. Both the bulbs and the leaves of ramps are edible, and are commonly added to salads, sauteed as a vegetable, or added as a seasoning. Ramps spice up a broad range of foods, and appear in different cheeses (cream cheese as well as artisan cheeses), in sausages and cold cuts, in bread and pasta, and in pesto. DelecTable’s Chef Ben knows how to serve up some amazing dishes capitalizing on the flavors of this earthy gem!


A harbinger of spring, ramps (allium tricoccum) grow wild and peak in midspring. In the US they typically grow on the East Coast along the Appalachian Mountain range and in the moist deciduous woodlands with slightly acidic soils of the midwest. They flower before the trees get their leaves and fill the air with a garlic-like aroma.   

Know Your Ramps

The first evidence of the human use of wild garlic goes back to the Mesolithic period, which is supported by archeological finds in Denmark. 

Ramps were well known to Native Americans and used in cooking and as a tonic.

Some say the city of Chicago got its name from the French rendering of the indigenous Miami-Illinois Algonquin language word for wild onion or skunk. The indigenous peoples called this area Shikaakwa (Chick-Ah-Goo-Ah), perhaps owing to the marshland wild leeks that covered it.

Ramps are especially popular in American Central Appalachian cooking. There are spring festivals throughout Appalachia celebrating this wild aromatic herb.

Available Now

As soon as the warm weather hits, ramps quickly die back until next year. If you’re already a fan, or just curious about this delicious herb, and you don’t want to wait until next spring to forage or find ramps at local farmers markets, we have a solution!

In the spring, when ramps are at their peak, their essence is naturally extracted from the plant and infused into vomFASS Bear’s Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. In this way, we extend the season of this delicacy, allowing it to gently add its well-balanced garlic and onion notes to your culinary creations. 

Food prep is easier as this one product can add the flavors of garlic, onion and high-quality olive oil without all the peeling, chopping and sautéing. Adding a pop to your fresh summer vegetables and soups is as easy as a drizzle or splash of this delightful product (see recipes below).

🐻🧄But For How Long?🧄🐻

While we can help extend the availability of ramps’ flavors, our Bear’s Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a seasonal product. vomFASS is only able to make a limited quantity each year. It is available now. We hope you order or stop in and get yours before it’s gone! 

We look forward to seeing you or filling your online orders. If you order online, please follow this link to make sure you order from our vomFASS Madison store.

The Bear's What??

Gourmet Grilled Corn

Ramped Up Zucchini Wedges


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