Fiddlehead Information Page
New Brunswick's Coat Of Arms
Fresh Fiddleheads are currently out of season but we will be back next spring 2017!
Ahh Fiddleheads! New Brunswick's Springtime..."Yahoo...it's time to get out & pick!" outdoor event.
Their season usually runs from the middle of May through to about the 1st week of June. Please check back with us in early May 2017!
What are Fiddleheads?
All ferns can be called Fiddleheads, but only the Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) is considered to be an edible delicacy vegetable. They are perennial (and pop up along with Dandelion Greens every Sping), grow fast and are harvested before the fronds have opened to their full height. They've a unique earthy flavor and sometimes compared to having an asparagus or a spinach flavor.
In the Spring (late April through May), the dark green, tender curled heads of the fern begin to emerge from their pods/crowns. Housed in a light brown papery chaff they burst out of, Fiddleheads are pinched or snapped off close to the ground (with a stem of about 1 1/2" long). Pods are never picked completly - leaving 2 or 3 fiddlers on the pod ensures its' survival. The coil & stem are smooth and never furry or fuzzy. The stem will be grooved on the inside somewhat. Fiddleheads should always be rinsed several times in ice cold water to clean & keep them crisp, then steamed or boiled (approx. 15 min) & never eaten raw.
Once fully opened, the Fiddlehead fern (sterile fronds) can grow quite tall and is absolutely stunning - some people "naturalize" their gardens with wild Fiddlehead ferns, they are so beautiful.
The dried brown stalks that look like feathers, one might see on the banks, are the previous year's fertile fronds from the Fiddlehead plant (not all pods produce this "fertile" spore bearing frond) and an indication of Fiddlehead pods.
More detailed information on Fiddleheads is available on our sister website:
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