I read an article about ramps in Time magazine today.
Ramps are a member of the onion family and are also called “wild garlic.” The article says ramps are getting popular and are considered a delicacy in North America.
They’re called “san-maneul” in Korean.
San is mountain and maneul is garlic in Korean. They’re grown in mountains. They taste like green onions or leeks, but the leaves are soft, thin, and wide.
You can make kimchi, Korean style pickles (jangajji), and even pancakes with them!
When I lived in Canada, one day my friend Ms. Jeon gave me a small jar of homemade sanmaneul kimchi. She said she picked them up in the deep mountain with her friends after a two and a half hour drive from Toronto. One of her annual events is to drive to the same spot somewhere north of Toronto in the early spring. She said if she goes too late, sanmanuel would be too tough to eat.
The sanmaneul kimchi she gave me was so fermented that I still remember the deep strong sour smell. Imagining the smell makes my mouth water now!
When I read the article about sanmaneul today, it reminds me of the kimchi and my friend Ms. Jeon. I should give her a call tonight. And ask whether or not she made the kimchi this year. If so, I will ask her to save some for me. : )