Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fiddleheads

We managed to get a lot!

43 pounds worth. Considering that I saw them for $4.99 a pound this year. I think that we did rather well.

11 comments:

Dave Danielshttp://BostonianLiving.com said...

Hi! What are your plans for them? I tried to saute them in butter with garlic and it wasn't good. They are in the market here at the same price.

tanita davis said...

Do you pickle them? I guess you can make a ragout -- somehow I think lightly pickled or raw would be best, otherwise, they're just another green. I suspect their flavo(u)r is rather light.

Jackie said...

Raw? Eeeewwwwww!
Nope! We wash them well, and blanch and freeze them. When they are cooked, they are thawed completely and dumped in boiling water for 10 -15 minutes until they are soft. They still maintain their curly shape and have a very distinctive flavour. They need to be boiled to boil out the tannins which (I believe) makes them bitter. I have steamed them before but much prefer them boiled.
We eat them with salt and butter and some do put vinegar on them.
I've never had pickled fiddleheads before but it is a popular way to save them.

Diana said...

I have never seen them in our grocery stores in the Central New York area, nor have I ever tasted them. I read that they are high in Omega 3 and 6; quite nutritious!

David T. Macknet said...

Wow. We thought they'd be crunchy if they were pickled, and that you'd enjoy them that way. No?

Julia said...

Nice harvest of yummy fiddleheads Jackie. For those who never tasted fiddlehead, they have a flavor that resemble a bit like asparagus but not quite. They have a flavor of their own. Cream of fiddlehead soup is also very yummy. JB

mira's papa said...

Even Wikipedia has it in their entry about fiddleheads that the young shoots can be eaten raw, but I've been eating them all my life and have never had them raw, nor have I ever seen anyone eat them raw. Nor will I try them raw now. Three reasons for that: 1.) as Jackie mentioned, the brown "fluff" in the furled head is loaded with tannin and as a consequence it's very bitter. Repeated washing and thorough cooking eliminates the bitterness. 2.) they grow on the river bank and are flooded over in the spring, and there is no telling what's in the water that would linger in the fiddleheads if they were not cooked. They need cooking to kill any microbes that may have washed into the plant. 3.) depending on which reference one reads, there is a mild toxin in the fern that can cause food-poisoning-like symptoms, but which is denatured by cooking. For all of those reasons I would take a pass on eating them raw.

Butter and a bit of cider vinegar is the way to eat them. And they are a superb compliment to pork products in particular, and poultry as well.

Julia said...

They are also good with fresh salmon although not everyone can eat fish. The natives in the area have an annual fiddlehead and salmon dinner where the public come to feast every year. I myself love it with salmon or haddock.

Christine said...

Yum yum yum! I hope to have some when we are down in August. :)

mira said...

Hey Christine,

Considering that they literally fall out of the freezer every time I open the door, I think there will be some left by the time you get here. We'll need to eat some up to make room for the massive supply of Brussels Sprouts that will need freezing sometime in October. Mira planted double the number of plants this year, and if they do as well as they did last year, we'll have to buy a second freezer. Come to think of it, we have chickens and turkeys coming this fall, so we'll need a second freezer anyway. Now I just have to make room for it.

mira's papa said...

That last comment wasn't Mira, it was mira's papa. I missed the apostrophe and hit the return key by accident.