Authentic Fiddleheads

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Patrick H

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You don't want to. I have a friend who has accidently ate other ones and we were just talking about it this weekend. She and her husband were fine but the fiddleheads had no taste or were bitter. I have heard of people having upset stomachs. Anything is possible but I haven't heard of them being like mushrooms where a "look-a-like" will kill you.

To me, fiddleheads have a wonderful sweet taste sauteed very lightly in butter.



Light and sweet and I suppose you could batter them. But... not having the Southern gene, I'm not tempted to batter and fry:smile: I think battering and frying a fiddlehead would make it look like a battered and fried Oreo!
OKAY! Thanks for that important information!
 

Northern Light

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Holy Guacamole! That's a lot of weeds and some of them are pernicious and vicious, like coltsfoot, Japanese knotweed, and kudsu!

You can eat the leaves of dandelion in salad and make wine from the flowers, although I wouldn't bother unless you are desperate for wine. I tried it twice. Yuck!!!!
You can make coffee with chicory. That is what Camp "coffee" liquid is made from. Coneflower is echinacea, which is a good tea for if a cold is coming on. Evening primrose oil is supposed to cure just about anything. Alfalfa is grown for sprouts. Wild grapes make good juice and jelly and better wine than dandelions.

I grow some of these plants in my garden, but have never tried ingesting them.
 
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Asparagus maybe in texture and taste.
You don't want to. I have a friend who has accidently ate other ones and we were just talking about it this weekend. She and her husband were fine but the fiddleheads had no taste or were bitter. I have heard of people having upset stomachs. Anything is possible but I haven't heard of them being like mushrooms where a "look-a-like" will kill you.
Not only that I had never heard of fiddleheads, I also missed this thread before!
When I found it now, I thought that I have seen those in the woods behind our village, but then - probably the wrong variety.
And I think ferns are protected here, probably, I have never heard of someone picking fern.
Such a pity, as this looks good and I love asparagus and browned butter. @NH Civil War Gal Tina, didn't you ask me about browned butter the other day? Lorna has explained it perfectly. Browned butter enhances the taste of almost everything!
 

Waterloo50

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Holy Guacamole! That's a lot of weeds and some of them are pernicious and vicious, like coltsfoot, Japanese knotweed, and kudsu!

You can eat the leaves of dandelion in salad and make wine from the flowers, although I wouldn't bother unless you are desperate for wine. I tried it twice. Yuck!!!!
You can make coffee with chicory. That is what Camp "coffee" liquid is made from. Coneflower is echinacea, which is a good tea for if a cold is coming on. Evening primrose oil is supposed to cure just about anything. Alfalfa is grown for sprouts. Wild grapes make good juice and jelly and better wine than dandelions.

I grow some of these plants in my garden, but have never tried ingesting them.
Have you tried a drink called Dandelion and Burdock, it’s lovely stuff, it’s a drink that’s been around since medieval times and it is still very popular here in Britain. We can buy it as a carbonated soft drink. If you haven’t tried it, I’d highly recommend it.
C190CD99-C9A9-4FC1-9506-3CDFD4FFF8F8.png
 
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Northern Light

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Have you tried a drink called Dandelion and Burdock, it’s lovely stuff, it’s a drink that’s been around since medieval times and it is still very popular here in Britain. We can buy it as a carbonated soft drink. If you haven’t tried it, I’d highly recommend it.
View attachment 307246
I've never seen it here but I'll have a look. I'll try anything...once.
 

donna

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If you want to know all about Herbs I recommend "Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs". It has all kinds of information on different herbs, including which are edible and lovely illustrations. It goes from A to Z on them.

Some are: Anise, Basil, Catnip, Cinnamon, Dandelion, Fennel, Garlic, and so on. This book has a wealth of knowledge.
 

Kurt G

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Never tried fiddle heads . I always thought they were a New England thing . I'm lucky enough to have part of my Greatgrandfathers farm still in the family .There are plenty of ferns back by the creek. It's in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan and it is peaceful and has deer and bear and wild turkeys , but it also has these ….and a few patches of wild asparagus .

DSC_0326.JPG

DSC_0440.JPG
 
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Northern Light

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Never tried fiddle heads . I always thought they were a New England thing . I'm lucky enough to have part of my Greatgrandfathers farm still in the family .There are plenty of ferns back by the creek. It's in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan and it is peaceful and has deer and bear and wild turkeys , but it also has these ….and a few patches of wild asparagus .

View attachment 307259

View attachment 307260
Lucky you!
 

Redcoat

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OKAY! Thanks for that important information!
Not all ferns are edible. I made the mistake years ago of picking what I thought were Fidddleheads in British Columbia. Being a New Brunswicker I just assumed they were all the same. Wrong! What we eat here may look like most other ferns when they pop out of the ground, but they are a specific species.
 
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Redcoat

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I just picked my first fiddleheads of the season. I have a nice little patch down by the stream near the back of my property. Fiddleheads are the unfurled heads of Ostrich Ferns, Matteuccia struthiopteris, which grown in damp shady areas, most often along river beds, in my neck of the woods. According to Wikipedia,
"It is a crown-forming, colony-forming plant, occurring in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in central and northern Europe, northern Asia, and northern North America. The species epithet struthiopteris comes from Ancient Greek words, struthio meaning ostrich and pterion meaning wing.
It grows from a completely vertical crown, favoring riverbanks and sandbars, but sends out lateral stolons to form new crowns. It thus can form dense colonies resistant to destruction by floodwaters."
We should have a late crop this year, due to all the flooding in my province.

Fiddleheads have been eaten for centuries, as they are one of the first crops to emerge in the spring. The tightly furled heads have been part traditional diets in much of Northern France since the beginning of the Middle Ages, across Asia, and also among Native Americans. I cannot prove it, but I would bet many of New England soldiers grew up eating fiddleheads, and dreamed of them in the spring when they were far from home.

Fiddleheads are labour intensive to prepare as they must be shaken to dispose of as much of the brown husk as possible, and then rinsed at least three times to remove any remaining husk and any dirt. They are worth the effort.
View attachment 219773 (Jane's Healthy Food)
Fiddleheads that are ready to be picked. You can see how they got their name.

.View attachment 219774(Wikipedia)
Freshly picked fiddleheads, head to cook.

Acoording to New England Today, " They’re best served simply, sautéed with a bit of butter and an allium, such as garlic, shallots, or minced onion. Here’s a favorite fiddleheads recipe that’s both easy and flavorful.

To prepare them for cooking, wash about 1 1/4 pounds of fiddleheads in cold water and rub away any papery “scales,” then trim the ends. Because the plants are wild, it’s wise to make sure they’re thoroughly cooked before serving, to avoid the possibility of food-borne illness. So the best method is to boil them in salted water for about 10 minutes, then sauté.

View attachment 219775
Boiling in salted water not only imparts flavor, it ensures that the fiddleheads are thoroughly and safely cooked.

Amy Traverso

While the fiddleheads are boiling, I like to brown some butter in a skillet. I like the nutty flavor that browning imparts, and the method couldn’t be simpler: Simply melt 3 tablespoons over medium-heat and let it cook until the milk solids in the butter turn a nice chestnut brown color.

View attachment 219776
The finished browned butter. Browned butter makes a great addition to this fiddlehead recipe.

Amy Traverso

For oniony flavor, I like to add another wild spring edible: ramps, also known as wild leeks. The finely chopped stems from 5 plants is sufficient (the leaves have a more vegetal flavor, so I leave those out).

View attachment 219777
Use ramp stems as you would garlic or scallions.

Amy Traverso

Sauté the ramp stems for 4 to 5 minutes in the browned butter.

View attachment 219778
The stems will flavor the butter. Cook them over medium heat for about 4 minutes.

Amy Traverso

Drain the cooked fiddleheads and add them to the skillet with the butter and ramps. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes to blend the flavors, then serve.

View attachment 219779
Fiddleheads, simply cooked.

Amy Traverso

To turn this side dish fiddleheads recipe into a full meal, you can sauté 2 chopped portobello mushrooms in 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until they begin to caramelize.

View attachment 219780
As the mushrooms cook, their edges become brown and crisp.

Add the cooked fiddleheads to these mushrooms and stir in the zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of sour cream or crème fraîche. Top with a piece of roasted salmon and you have dinner.

View attachment 219781
Paired with roasted salmon, this fiddleheads recipe yields a delicious spring meal (I used the thinly sliced ramp leaves as a garnish).

https://newengland.com/today/food/side-dishes/vegetables/easy-fiddleheads-recipe/
View attachment 187375
This is a sculpture in Saint John, New Brunswick by artist Jim Boyd.
I am in St. Andrews, where in NB are you?
 
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treebie2000

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Holy Guacamole! That's a lot of weeds and some of them are pernicious and vicious, like coltsfoot, Japanese knotweed, and kudsu!

You can eat the leaves of dandelion in salad and make wine from the flowers, although I wouldn't bother unless you are desperate for wine. I tried it twice. Yuck!!!!
You can make coffee with chicory. That is what Camp "coffee" liquid is made from. Coneflower is echinacea, which is a good tea for if a cold is coming on. Evening primrose oil is supposed to cure just about anything. Alfalfa is grown for sprouts. Wild grapes make good juice and jelly and better wine than dandelions.

I grow some of these plants in my garden, but have never tried ingesting them.
My wife has battered and fried dandelion flowers with stems on....deeelicious! Greens go in the salad.
 
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