05-05-2014, 12:45 PM
#1
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This is todays natural harvest... It's that time of year in Maine.

[Image: DSC04095_zps67b5af22.jpg]
The raw product, cut from the surface of the ground.

They're a springtime treat; fiddleheads. They are the new shoots of the fiddlehead fern, specifically that fern and no other.

We've never had fiddleheads on the hill before, then my neighbor had some road gravel, dug by the town out of the ditches on the side of the road hauled in. Some of it went next to an intermittent stream that flows off of his land and onto mine. A few years ago the first fiddleheads were seen to be growing in that area. No one touched any of them, though last year they could have been harvested. This year we walked over and yup, there they were, poking through the leaf litter.

I love fiddleheads. What are they like? Something like asparagus in taste, with a texture just suggestive of okra.

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Here they are just cleaned and draining in the colander. Just put them in a basin of water and what husk still clings to the fiddlehead soaks off in minutes. A few shakes in clean water gets rid of the "skin". These are ready for the pot.

Steam them until tender. It doesn't take long for them to cook. Then salt to taste and butter them. Just fantastic.

Tomorrow I'll check again for more. Pretty soon though they'll "go by" and not be harvest able.

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 05-05-2014, 12:50 PM
#2
  • Agravic
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  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Very nice, Brian.

I do enjoy fiddleheads as well ... Smile

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 05-05-2014, 12:54 PM
#3
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(05-05-2014, 12:50 PM)Agravic Wrote: Very nice, Brian.

I do enjoy fiddleheads as well ... Smile

Do you have them in PA?

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 05-05-2014, 01:03 PM
#4
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They must be a northern thing? I've never heard of them before. I grew up in Kansas and have lived in Texas for the last 20 something years. It's a little warm here for ferns Biggrin

I do find it interesting though, finding yummy things to eat around you. Looks good!

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 05-05-2014, 01:05 PM
#5
  • Agravic
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  • Pennsylvania, USA
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(05-05-2014, 12:54 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote:
(05-05-2014, 12:50 PM)Agravic Wrote: Very nice, Brian.

I do enjoy fiddleheads as well ... Smile

Do you have them in PA?

No, I don't believe I've had them here at home in PA ... I'm trying to recall where I've had them though ... maybe Canada, where I grew up?

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 05-05-2014, 01:15 PM
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Sounds great. Back in my "hippie" days many years ago, I foraged for fiddleheads. I also lived in a cabin on the beach and used a guidebook named "Edible? Incredible" to find foodstuffs on the beach at low tide, including limpets. There's something very satisfying about finding and eating things like the fiddleheads.

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 05-05-2014, 03:01 PM
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It's been going on in Maine since the last Ice age backed off a bit John. Or at least as far as anyone knows. Surely it's been going on for hundreds of years. Everyone up here eats them when spring arrives. When one finds a place where they grow one never shares the info'.

Ravi, hence my question. I never knew them in NJ, only after moving to Maine. Yup, I bet it was Canada for you.

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I tried to keep track tonight... Steamed for maybe 10 minutes, but checking frequently I lost track. Then buttered and with some butter flavored popcorn salt that I like on veggies. The dogs will get the steaming liquid in their food tonight (no butter and popcorn salt for them).

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 05-06-2014, 06:33 PM
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  • savagejoerude
  • If you ain't a LOSER, you ain't livin'!!
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Looks yummy. I've read about them but for sure we don't have any such thing here in Louisiana. It's crawfish seasons down here right now... YEA BABY !!!

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 05-06-2014, 07:21 PM
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Wonderful, Brian! I hope you enjoyed it! Biggrin

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 05-07-2014, 01:24 PM
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Joe, do you have ramps? I wish we had those! One of the things I've heard and read of, but they're not up here.

Biggrin I pigged out the first night and ate 1/2 of them. Yeah, they were delicious!

They'll keep for a time in refrigeration, I want to cherry smoke grill a ribeye and have another batch with a baked potato and the steak. That's a meal that reminds one that life is really good.

I'll leave the stand of fiddleheads alone now until next year. I'm hoping they grow along the entire stream. I wouldn't mind harvesting enough to can or freeze a bunch every year.

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 05-07-2014, 02:36 PM
#11
  • Elendil
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(05-05-2014, 12:54 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote:
(05-05-2014, 12:50 PM)Agravic Wrote: Very nice, Brian.

I do enjoy fiddleheads as well ... Smile

Do you have them in PA?

My local food co-op gets them for about 2 weeks a year. I will pick them up and give them a try this year.

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 05-07-2014, 09:48 PM
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(05-07-2014, 02:36 PM)Elendil Wrote:
(05-05-2014, 12:54 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote:
(05-05-2014, 12:50 PM)Agravic Wrote: Very nice, Brian.

I do enjoy fiddleheads as well ... Smile

Do you have them in PA?

My local food co-op gets them for about 2 weeks a year. I will pick them up and give them a try this year.

Don't overcook them. Just steam until tender. Let me know how you like them.

It's something over 5 minutes, maybe 7-8 minutes. But I always test by eating one.

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