Fresh fiddlehead ferns grow wild in wet areas of North America during the spring. While they may seem unusual, these crunchy treats are merely the immature fronds of ferns- in this case, ostrich ferns. Their name was given to them due to their shape that resembles the ornamentation at the head of fiddles and other string instruments. Fiddlehead ferns are a traditional dish of northern New England (especially Maine) in the United States, and of Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes in Canada. As the love of the fiddlehead fern continues to spread, we’ve made it a point to find the freshest local varieties available. Our fiddlehead ferns are picked right out of the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest close to Whole Earth Harvest’s home.
Other Names: Crozeir, niguro, gosari
Origin: Pacific Northwest, USA
Shelf Life: Fresh fiddlehead are best eaten within two weeks. They may also be frozen to expand their shelf life by a full year.
Nutritional Facts: Fresh Fiddleheads contain various vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are a good source of antioxidants and dietary fibre. They are low in sodium, but rich in potassium, which may make them suitable for people who need a low-sodium diet.
Tips: These young, just-budding ferns should be steamed for 12 minutes or boiled for 15 minutes before being eaten. Serve with hollandaise sauce, butter and lemon or vinegar or eat them chilled in a salad or on their own with mayonnaise. In Indonesia, they’re often cooked in coconut sauce with chilli pepper, tumeric, and other spices to create a popular dish known as gulai pakis. It is typically sauteed in Korea on its own or for bibimbap while Japanese cooks often roast them. It’s also cooked and mixed with cheese or pickled in parts of India.
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