Monday, May 28, 2018

Sautéed Fiddleheads

sautéed fiddleheads
"Crunchy, yet satisfying." This is what Peter said as he tasted these fiddleheads, attempting to quote the Lion King scene where Pumbaa slurps up a worm and says, "Slimy, yet satisfying." He was close. Lucky for you, these are not slimy, but boy are they satisfying.

fiddleheads on a cutting board

There are many types of edible fiddleheads around the world. However, the fiddleheads in my area are the furled fronds of a young ostrich fern. Fiddleheads feel like such a Mainer thing, but as I read more about them, I realized we share the ostrich fronds find with Canada. The Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, and Penobscot peoples of Eastern Canada and Maine traditionally harvested fiddleheads, and they remain a traditional dish in these regions. I still say it's a Maine thing, meheheh. Just let me have this moment.

Fiddleheads have a short season—really only a few weeks in the spring—so when you see them at the Farmer's market or at your grocery store, GRAB 'EM!

fiddleheads and garlic
I also just learned from good ol' Wikipedia that "when picking fiddleheads, it is recommended to take only half the tops per plant/cluster for sustainable harvest. Each plant produces several tops that turn into fronds; repeated over-picking will eventually kill the plant. Maintaining sustainable harvesting methods is important in the propagation of any non-farmed food species."
sautéed fiddleheads

This is a great tip, as I still have yet to harvest my own (I feel like such a poser). When I finally do harvest my own fiddles, I picture Paul Bunyanesque lumberjacks surrounding me and knighting me as a true Mainer.

Until then, I will continue whipping up these "crunchy, yet satisfying" fiddles as if they were my own harvest, and enjoying this fleeting delicacy of spring!

sautéed fiddleheads participates in select affiliate advertising programs, which means that I get a commission if you decide to purchase the product after clicking on the link. But I would not share these items with you without passion behind them. I literally own every single one and I mean it when I say, I pause and stare at them longingly before using them, admiring their beauty, strength, wisdom, and skills.