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Posts Tagged ‘fiddleheads’

You can tell a true New Englander in May by two things:


1. They know what a fiddlehead is.
2. They have eaten one and enjoyed it.


The sudden cold snap we are having here means we might get another week or two of enjoying this once-a-year treat. Food bloggers are reporting their appearance in their CSA bounty. You can also  pickle fiddleheads, but no matter how you decide to prepare them, make sure you clean them well.

I tried fiddleheads last year for the first time, with some success (see recipe here). This year my friend and colleague Leigh said her family enjoyed them at their Mother’s Day feast. What else did they have? French grilled pork chops – with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, herbes de Provence, salt & pepper Yukon Gold potato and carrot purée. I can see the artful fiddlehead was the perfect side note.

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Fiddlehead ferns by Leigh Montgomery

This New England delicacy is as beautiful as any of nature’s patterns or the scroll of a violin that inspires their name.  To me nothing else tastes like an early spring evening or a verdant forest floor.  When I see them I am transported back to a memorable fly-fishing trip on New Brunswick’s Miramichi river, where every night we retired to the lodge for salmon and fiddlehead variations on the side or in soup.  About the taste – it does have a slightly wild taste and tough consistency, requiring a little trimming, softening and saucing.  I found this recipe, from a 1992 Gourmet magazine issue, an easy and elegant way to introduce them to those who might not have tried them before.

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