The Trendiest Produce For Spring
All the trendiest kinds of produce for this spring have decidedly un-produce-like names. Ramps, fiddleheads and morels don’t exactly sound like the hip salad toppers that they are. And yet, these denizens of spring are some of the most highly sought-after ingredients as we progress into spring. The three ingredients are all known for having a very short harvesting period in the early spring. Miss it, and you will have to wait another year. And who knows, by that time we may have already moved on to the next great woodland edible.
This small onion-like plant also goes by the name of wild leek and packs a mild garlicky punch. Because they are the first green vegetable to sprout in the spring, they have come to be known as the harbingers of warmer months. And their two- to three-week harvest period goes very far to increase their mystique. For all that, the ramp is more than anything a cultural phenomenon. Many devoted followers of the leafy green have taken to pickling, charring, roasting and braising the plant as a way to introduce the flavors of the forest to any dish.
A fiddlehead is essentially a sprouting fern. Before it unfurls its leafy tendrils, the coiled-up fronds are harvested and cooked up as a side in many a trendy restaurant. The popularity of this food stems from the new trend of foraging brought about by the cooking and ingredient sourcing philosophies of lauded restaurants such as Noma in Copenhagen. Like many fads, the fiddlehead is deeply divisive, with some claiming the ingredient is all trend and no taste. You will have to get your hands on some of your own to decide for yourself.
The morel mushroom is distinctive for its honeycomb cap and hollow stem that emerges right after the deep freeze of winter thaws out. Morels are notoriously hard to find and dedicated foragers keep their harvesting spots a tight-lipped secret. Even finding the mushrooms in your local grocery store can be difficult. Your best bet is to check out the nearest farmer’s market.
Online cooking school students can have fun using these springtime selections. As they are only available in the early months of the season, these trendy forager-favorites have become almost synonymous with the changing of the seasons.