Jun 4, 2010

Fiddlehead Fern

While traveling last week in Montreal I paid a visit to the city's Jean-Talon Market district. Though I consider myself fairly well versed in all matters related to the culinary arts, I was surprised to see the intriguing fiddlehead ferns depicted on your left. These are unfurled young ferns that are harvested for use in salads or as accompaniments to dishes such as seafood or poultry.

The fiddlehead ferns are apparently an excellent source of antioxidants, though there are some concerns about the toxicity of some varieties. However, I cannot provide a first-hand report on the taste of the ferns, as the vendor only spoke French and I was not bold enough to stuff a slimy-looking and unknown plants down my gullet. More experienced connoisseurs of the fiddlehead fern may weigh in with a gastronomical opinion in the Comments section of the blog.


mud_rake said...

It seems to me inane to ingest one rather than watch it unfold its splendor throughout the summer.

microdot said...

ohh, but mudrake, there are so many ferns and they are like asparagus!
one of springtimes delights if you have ever tried them. Very simple, like asparagus...you can lightly boil or saute them with lemon. I have had them served steamed with a thick mustard vinagrette.
Yes, some ferns are slightly toxic, but on the level of a good vermifuge (they will get rid of your worms)...they are tonic, but true fiddle heads (ostrich ferns) are simple enough to identify and perfectly safe.