Fiddleheads Fiddleheads Fiddleheads

I love Fiddleheads. Love them dearly. I have fond memories as a kid going out to the bush around the Orangeville Ontario area with my Dad (aka Mr. Happypants) and the brat (aka my little bro) harvesting these spring time gems. We would go explore some of the Mono Cliff caves around Hockley Road ( a few minutes away from Orangeville) and then we would go harvest fiddleheads.

I did not harvest these lovely little gems but found them just being unloaded at my local No Frills grocery store. I could not resist. I really do prefer fresh fiddleheads for grilling. The frozen ones available year round are great for making a fiddlehead and leek soup in the winter but the texture is not great for a grill.

For those of you not familiar with fiddleheads here is the WIKI info for them:

Fiddlehead ferns refers to the unfurled fronds of a young fern harvested for food consumption. The fiddlehead, or circinate vernation, unrolls as the fern emerges from the ground with new growth. As fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut fairly close to the ground.
The fiddlehead resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a fiddle. It is also called a crozier, after the curved staff used by bishops, which has its origins in the shepherd’s crook.

When cooking fiddleheads, first remove all the yellow/brown skin, then boil the sprouts twice with a change of water between boilings. Removing the water reduces the bitterness and the content of tannins and toxins.

I like to soak my fiddleheads overnight in water first. Then trim any of the dark brown bits off the cut ends and remove any of the papery brown outer layer that can be sometimes attached to them. Before grilling I steam them quickly a couple of times. This is an important step as you need to remove some of the bitterness and potential toxins.

For the preparation I simply tossed them in some lemon olive oil, then sprinkled them generously with salt & pepper. Using a frogmat works great with these. Just grill at medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until tender turning a couple of times. I really like the lemon with fiddleheads. I added some lemon zest just before dinner as well.

I served them up with some nice plump tomatoes and xtra crispy cajun fried chicken. It was a good meal.

5 Responses to “Fiddleheads Fiddleheads Fiddleheads”

  • Great post! I had my first fiddlehead experience recently, and next time I will know to soak them overnight first!!!

  • oh my goshhhhh… they are so yummylicious! I can’t that species in my country…what we have locally is far, far, far tiny compared to North America unless the harvesters dared to venture deep into the Tropical jungle :-D I love to eat either simply quick frying with garlic, stir-fried with smoked bacon or Sambal Belacan with Prawns!

    Btw… love our blog and i’m going to KIV it :-D Geeez…now my head is really, really fiddle, diddle, fiddlehead after gawking at your photos :’-(

  • I love it…really made me hungry just looking at those picts! What I can find locally was smaller species in this tropical country :-( Now, is the hot season which may caused the difficulty to find fiddleheads. Guessed I have to wait for the rainy season which is 2 months from now… I wished out there in the jungle such large and juicy fiddleheads to satisfy my craving! I doubt the harvesters would go into the deep jungle :-D Do you think such plant survives in farm cultivation? That way the wild fiddleheads will survive?

    Now, if I want to be really diddle, diddle, fiddlehead, I know where to gawk :-D Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Oh God I love fiddleheads! And butter….lots of butter.

  • its a really nice topping for fiddleheads when you smoke lots of garlic first then whip it into butter. To die for my friend and absolutely delish.

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