A Celebration of Springs First Ramps and Fiddleheads

A Celebration of Springs First Ramps and Fiddleheads

The Long-Awaited Arrival of Spring’s Delicacies

As the first whispers of spring caress the city streets, a sense of renewed excitement and anticipation fills the air. For us food-lovers in Brooklyn, the arrival of spring means one thing: it’s time to indulge in the fleeting yet glorious bounty of ramps and fiddleheads. And where better to celebrate this seasonal delight than at our beloved neighborhood gem, Camperdown Elm?

You see, I’ve been counting down the days until these elusive treasures would once again grace the menu at Camperdown Elm. Having dined there countless times, I know that chef Ryan Angulo and his team have a way of coaxing out the very best in these ephemeral ingredients. Their reverence for seasonal produce is unparalleled, and their ability to transform the humble ramp and fiddlehead into something truly transcendent is nothing short of culinary sorcery.

As I push open the doors to Camperdown Elm on a crisp spring morning, I’m immediately enveloped in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the sizzle of something delectable on the stove. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with sunlight streaming through the windows and the chatter of eager diners filling the air. I make my way to my favorite spot by the window, eagerly anticipating the arrival of my order.

Ramps: The Fleeting Harbinger of Spring

The first dish to arrive is a simple yet sublime salad featuring the star of the show: ramps. These wild leeks, with their pungent aroma and bold, garlicky flavor, are the true harbingers of spring. Their season is notoriously short, often lasting no more than a few weeks, which only adds to their allure.

As I take my first bite, I’m transported to a sunlit forest, the earthy essence of the ramps mingling with the crisp, fresh greens. The chef has treated these precious ingredients with the utmost respect, allowing their natural flavors to shine without being overwhelmed by heavy sauces or overpowering seasonings. The result is a symphony of flavors that dance on my tongue, leaving me craving more with each passing moment.

But ramps are not merely a delicacy to be savored – they hold a deep cultural significance as well. These wild leeks have long been a staple in the diets of Native American communities, who valued their nutritional properties and used them in a variety of traditional dishes. In recent years, the ramp has experienced a surge in popularity, with chefs and home cooks alike vying to incorporate these fleeting gems into their spring menus.

Fiddleheads: The Curled Delight of the Forest Floor

As I savor the last bite of the ramp salad, my attention is quickly drawn to the next course: a plate of delicate fiddleheads. These tightly coiled, emerald-hued fronds of the ostrich fern are yet another harbinger of spring’s arrival, their appearance a sure sign that the days are growing longer and the temperatures are on the rise.

At Camperdown Elm, the fiddleheads have been carefully prepared, their earthy, almost nutty flavor balanced by a delicate crunch and a hint of bitterness. The chef has chosen to pair them with a light, lemony sauce that accentuates their natural flavors without overpowering them.

As I savor each bite, I can’t help but marvel at the story behind these curious little greens. Fiddleheads have long been a prized ingredient in many Native American cuisines, valued for their nutritional benefits and unique texture. In fact, the name “fiddlehead” comes from the way the fronds resemble the curled scroll of a violin, a nod to their whimsical, forest-floor origins.

But the journey from forest to plate is not without its challenges. Fiddleheads must be harvested with great care, as their fronds can quickly unfurl and lose their delicate texture if not handled properly. And once they’ve been plucked, they have an equally short shelf life, often needing to be consumed within a matter of days.

Celebrating the Ephemeral Delights of Spring

As I finish the last bites of the fiddlehead dish, I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude and wonder. These fleeting spring delicacies, so often overlooked or underappreciated, have been treated with the utmost care and respect by the team at Camperdown Elm. In their hands, the ramps and fiddleheads become something truly special, a celebration of the season and all its bounty.

I linger a bit longer, savoring the final sips of my coffee and reflecting on the journey that these ingredients have taken to end up on my plate. From the forests and fields where they were harvested, to the skilled hands of the chefs who have coaxed out their very best flavors, each bite has been a revelation.

As I make my way back out into the spring sunshine, I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement for the seasons to come. Who knows what other culinary gems await us in the months ahead? But for now, I’m content to bask in the glory of these fleeting spring delights, and to revel in the knowledge that there’s no better place to celebrate them than right here, at Camperdown Elm.

So, if you find yourself in Brooklyn this spring, be sure to make a beeline for Camperdown Elm and indulge in the seasonal splendor of ramps and fiddleheads. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you. And who knows – you might just discover a new favorite spring tradition in the process.