Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents







Recipe of an old Cherokee food - RAMPS

RAMPS (Allium Tricoccum) is a member of the more well known onion and garlic family, but that is where it stops. The unique flavor is desired by chefs preparing for the Wall Street crowd in the famed Beard House in New York City, to the thrill of the races at the Kentucky Derby. Though RAMPS has grown to new heights, its roots are still in the tradition of ramp feeds and festivals throughout several states.

RAMPS is characterized by having leaves about 10 inches long and 2 inches wide. The slender stem makes its way down to a white bulb that is about one-half inch around. The use of the ramps are limited only to ones imagination.


Ramps is a perennial spring ephemeral herb that is broadly distributed in eastern North America from the Southern Appalachians to southern Québec and as far west as the eastern portions of the Dakotas.  Ramps are often called Wild Leeks. In the Southern Appalachians, it is commonly associated with cove and northern hardwood forests and is often found on moist colluvial slopes, depressions, and stream side bluffs. Ramps are commonly found between 3500 and 4500 ft in elevation (1070-1370 m) but have been found as high as 5390 feet. Tree species commonly associated with ramps include Buckeye, Sugar Maple, Yellow Birch, Yellow Poplar, Black Cherry, Beech, Basswood, Striped Maple and many others.

Gather young ramps soon after they come up.  Parboil them, wash and fry the Ramps, in a little grease. Ground meal may be added if you wish. They may be cooked without being parboiled, the Ramps can be eaten raw if the eater is not social minded.

Wild Onions and Eggs
Gathering wild Onions in the spring is a ritual among the Cherokees. Wild onions and eggs are often frozen and kept to be eaten in the winter months. Begin with a cup of wild onions, that have been cut into small pieces two or three tablespoons of bacon drippings are put into a skillet and warmed over medium heat, place the chopped onions and about one fourth cup of water. Simmer while Stirring until the onions are tender, you can add small amounts of water if needed, when the onions are tender and most of the water has cooked away, add seven beaten eggs and scramble