discovering fiddleheads: new england’s spring gem!

Fiddleheads…what do they have to offer (besides a great name), and where can you find them? If you’re located in New England, you’re in luck, and if you’re not…well, you’re still in luck, thanks to wholesale shippers, like Ruma Fruit & Produce Company. The resounding opinion on fiddlehead flavor lies somewhere between an asparagus and broccoli, with the texture of a green bean. While you don’t want to eat them raw (they can cause terrible stomach aches), they add a great punch to pasta dishes, or stir fries. If you’ve got too many on your hands, they’re great for pickling, and can also withstand the freezer for up to a year.

Technically, fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a young ferns; when left alone, fiddleheads unfurl into fern fronds (large fern leaves). This means that fiddleheads must be harvested early in the spring, between the middle of April and end of June, before the weather heats up and all the fronds unfurl. In terms of nutrition, fiddleheads are very healthy, containing both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, as well as a ton of antioxidants and fiber.

For more indepth information about preparing and/or storing fiddleheads, check out Wild Harvest.

For recipes, try Whole Living’s spring linguinifiddlehead pickles, or simply saute them with some onions and garlic.

Find more information about purchasing New England fiddleheads in bulk on Ruma’s listings here, and to find the freshest fiddleheads in town, check Local Pickins’ farmers’ market listings!

NOTE: Photo reblogged from View from Great Island, where there are also great fiddlehead recipes!

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