This past weekend I got to head back to my dear West Virginia for a festival. WV has a ton of festivals, and I’ve made it a goal of mine to try to go to more of them. From small festivals to large ones like the Mountain State Forest Festival, there is always something to be celebrated.
This particular adventure was to the Ramps & Rails festival in Elkins, WV. It made the top of my list because my dear friend “A” (my maid of honor) and her fellow “C” were assisting at a tie dye booth, so I was able to hit the festival and spend the weekend with her.
Now, you may be asking – what’s a ramp? I’ve always heard them described as a wild onion, perhaps a better description is a wild leek. Ramps have a bulb, flat leaves, and a sharp garlicky taste. They are also rather, well, pungent.
The festival was held at the Elkins Depot Welcome Center. There was live music, about 50 different vendors, and lots and lots of ramp-inspired foods.
Everyone knows the best part of a carnival is the food – kettle corn, cotton candy, and other classic favorites. Festivals are no different. There’s just something about food from a festival vendor that tastes twice as good. “A” laughed at me as I hopped completely on board for all of the ramp food offerings.
We had a deep-fried ramp wantons (which were sinfully good), a pulled pork sandwich with slaw and a mild ramp BBQ sauce, a chocolate ramp-infused cupcake with ramp buttercream icing (Yup, you read that right.), and just when I thought I’d tried everything – I saw it. There, scribbled in dry erase on the window of a food truck, was – rampperoni rolls!
Now y’all, I am a pepperoni roll purist. Nothing belongs in my pepperoni rolls, but well, pepperoni, but you don’t get much more Appalachian than a rampperoni roll. The ramps made the whole flavor change. Honestly, it had a green pepper vibe to it, and it was like eating a supreme pizza roll.
The Fellow was super bummed he couldn’t make it to the festival, so I brought him home a Rampperoni roll (They were originally made to be carried in coal miners’ lunches, so they travel well and don’t need refrigerated.), and he loved it.
We hung out with some old friends, listened to the live music, and watched a little square dancing. It was absolutely the WV fix I needed.
What is your favorite festival (or your favorite part of a festival)? Let me know in the comments!