Ramp Vinegar Is the Essence-of-Spring Staple You Need In Your Pantry
This might just be how you get the magical, fleeting flavor of ramps all year round.
Maybe you’ve heard the jokes that ramps are hard to find this year because the cicadas are coming for them. For everyone else who’s wondering what the heck a ramp is, here is a quick explainer brought to you from Alexis Pisciotta, the Purchasing and Events Manager at Food Network Kitchen: “Ramps are members of the allium family (the same one as onions, shallot, and leeks), and look something like a spring onion at the root-end with an elongated stem and dark green leaves. All but the root is edible. The bulbs are sharp and garlic-like and the leaves milder and grassy.” Part of their appeal lies in their scarcity: they’re a fleeting sign of spring. Part of their appeal is their unique oniony-garlicy flavor.
But the thing is: the jokes about ramps are true: they’re hard to find unless you live near a major farmer’s market. They’ll also cost you a pretty penny. That’s why I was excited to learn that a company called Ramp Up had bottled up all that good ramp flavor so it’s more accessible and available year-round. Their 03 Ramp Vinegar is fermented from just three ingredients: white wine vinegar, ramp bulbs and sea salt. It’s then bottled up in the absolutely cutest packaging with a bright pink label and delivered in a colorful box that has gift-worthy written all over it.
The founders of Ramp Up make the point that many store-bought vinegars are harsh, acidic and intimidating to use. Their Ramp Vinegar, on the other hand, is milder and more palatable. And the ramp flavor won’t give you dragon’s breath either: its ramp flavor is subtly tangy, not aggressively pungent. I enjoy drizzling it over grains, roasted veggies, avocado toast and roast chicken. It’s a little bit like sprinkling a magical potion over food: it adds that extra bit of something-something flavor that takes a plain dish to the next level. Trust me when I say that Ramp Vinegar is the secret ingredient you never knew you needed.