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Health & Science

COVID-Cautious Ramp Dinners Are Back In West Virginia

Chef Rob Weland fermented ramps to make a ramp kimchi, which was featured on his menu this spring at Garrison restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Chef Rob Weland fermented ramps to make a ramp kimchi, which was featured on his menu this spring at Garrison restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Ramp dinners are back this spring after the pandemic shut down most of them last year. Communities across Appalachia are planning to host the annual celebrations which usually serve as important fundraisers for public libraries, or non-profit organizations.

In West Virginia, the dinners typically begin in April. Ramps are small white bulbs with a green expanded leaf. It’s a type of leek that some describe to have an onion or garlic flavor and a pungent smell.

Many of the dinners will look different because of the ongoing threat of COVID-19. In Upshur County, meals will be available as take out only. The Upshur County Public Library has also changed locations to accommodate traffic. Some other dinners include those in Lewis County in Jane Lew, in Webster County at Upperland and at the self-proclaimed Ramp Capital of the World, Richwood in Nicholas County.

Organizers say visitors should call to confirm the events before making the trip as new threats of the pandemic, or even the weather, could change plans.

Corrected: March 30, 2021 at 9:36 AM EDT
A previous version listed Mercer County at Camp Creek as a dinner that was happening in 2021. Organizers now say that this dinner will not happen in 2021.

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