Fiddleheads - A spring delicacy that you can have all year around.
Fiddleheads. I cook up this wild delicacy that is only available for 2 to 3 weeks in the early spring. This delicacy was introduced to the Acadians in the 1800's. The Fiddlehead Capital of the world is Tide Head, New Brunswick, Canada. Fiddle heads look as good as they taste. Before they can bloom into full grown ferns the nutrition the plant needs to grow is packed into a small bite sized growth that looks like a fiddle head. They can be bought from street side vendors, at farmers markets, and in grocery stores. But since the season for fresh fiddle heads is only 2 or 3 weeks, they sell out fast.
The hardest part of preparing a fiddle head is the cleaning. These are wild plants, usually harvested along river banks and marshy areas, so they will have debris. Usually a good rinse, and trimming of the bottom where they were cut in the wild will result in a nice clean vegetable. Don't be alarmed when boiling them up, that the water turns very brown. this is just more of the cleaning. When they are put on the plate, all you get is a fresh, green and tasty fiddle head. It is important to boil for at least 10 minutes because they can harbor microbes that may make you sick.
Freeze your Fiddleheads
If you have them cleaned and don't want to eat right away, you can blanch them for about 2 minutes, and then seal in an air tight bag for freezing. They will last in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just remember to boil for at least 10 minutes after they have thawed. Enjoy mother natures bounty in the spring. Here is where you can learn how to clean and cook them. Chef Mike