Saturday, May 30, 2009


Fiddleheads are a local delicacy that appears fresh on the market for only a short time each year. They are a type of fern that grows in the shady bogs and marshes in the spring when the water levels of the rivers and creeks goes down. My mother is from the Miramichi River area of New Brunswick, which is one of the most famous locations for finding fiddleheads, and during my younger years, we always made a special trip "over" in the spring to pick as many as we could find. What we couldn't eat fresh over the next few days, Mom would parboil and freeze, to pull out for special meals (and to make meals special) throughout the summer, fall and winter.

I've heard it said that fiddleheads taste something like asparagus, but with a pat of butter and a few drops of vinegar, I find they have a taste all their own. They are cooked like most other vegetables ... you clean off the bits of brown fern frond, soak them in cold water for an hour or so, then steam or boil in a small amount of water for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. They are a perfect accompaniment to seafood, particularly baked haddock with mashed potatoes which are also New Brunswick delicacies. I've been fortunate in arriving this year at peak fiddlehead time and although it has been many years since I have actually gone "fiddleheading", we have been able to buy as many as we can eat and freeze from local roadside vendors.
Posted by Picasa


These are such a great pleasure to eat. There are a close second to the late spring ramps (more plentiful here in the Mid-Atlantic than fiddleheads). I always look forward to both, though admittedly I've never picked either myself.

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home