Fiddleheads or fiddlehead greens are the curled-up early fronds of the ostrich fern, found in the spring along riverbanks in the Northeast and are eaten as a vegetable. Fiddleheads have antioxidant activity, are a source of Omega 3 and Omega 6, and are high in iron and fibre.
How do you prepare fiddleheads you may ask?
First, find a secret springtime fiddlehead spot, usually along the bank of a stream or river. Be sure you have your tall mud boots on! Pick, pick, pick and fill your bags with them.
Then they need to be cleaned to get the brown fuzzy stuff off. Spreading them out on a 1/4” screen outdoors and using a water hose works well.
Or, stop beside the road where you see a handmade “Fiddleheads” sign propped up alongside an old pickup truck. Buy as many bags as you can.
Now it’s time for the cooking. Rinse a pound or two of fiddleheads three times in cool water. Meanwhile, bring about a half kettle of water to a boil.
Dump the clean fiddleheads into the boiling water to cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, till tender.
Drain and serve piping hot with lots of butter, and vinegar if you like it.
That’s it! A real old fashioned Maine/New Brunswick spring feast!
Fiddleheads can also be frozen or canned to enjoy later, using your regular freezing or canning method.
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I have never had them but sure would like to try some. Heard about them on another blog recently.
stop on over having a give away soon!!
On June 6, 2011 at 6:48 am
Miss Judy says:
Never ate them…don’t intend to…I don’t “fiddle around”.
On June 6, 2011 at 8:26 am
Love love love fiddleheads! They are one of the sure signs of spring and summer here in NB, and you are correct, they best way to have them is with butter, salt and vinegar. Try it with some balsamic vinegar for a little extra punch.
They are earthy and tender and fantastic. Nice to see you post about such a regional treat!
On June 6, 2011 at 9:03 am
I need a “pet” old-timer. I’d be scared to go gather these by myself, afraid I’d pick the wrong thing but I’d eat them if someone showed me exactly what I was picking.
Wonder if I could advertise for a grandma or grampa. Wonder if they’d be offended considering I’m grandma age or pretty close to it, myself.
I also need a refresher on puff-ball mushrooms.
On June 6, 2011 at 9:10 am
Linda Goble says:
What do they taste like?
On June 6, 2011 at 10:11 am
brookdale…….I LOVE THEM! Being a Mainer and living out in the country….I get my share of Fiddleheads! I have picked plenty of them in my day but now I buy them by the pound from a reliable picker
as I can’t get out and about as well now as in years past. Have a couple bags full now in my freezer waiting for winter consumption. Another thing we Mainers like is a good mess of dandelion greens! twoturkey
On June 6, 2011 at 11:09 am
I am from Maine, as well !! My family really enjoy fiddleheards…The biggest problem people have is over cooking them (not good) We have done so many things with them…omelets , pickled, side dish vegetable and and fresh in salads.
On June 6, 2011 at 11:15 am
I love fiddle heads, as a kid the family would go picking them. I love them with butter & a light sprinkle of salt. Yummers. They remind me of wild asparagus. I have to find out if my area has them so we can go picking again.
On June 6, 2011 at 11:44 am
Sheryl - Runningtrails says:
I didn’t get a chance to pick fiddleheads this year 🙁 I’m still frustrated over that one! They such a great and free source of nurishing food!
On June 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm