how to recognize fiddleheadsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I tried that Maine delicacy the other day, fiddleheads, for the first time. They were good. I was wondering how to tell the difference between those and ferns just coming up. Any fiddle head experts out there?
-- Epona (email@example.com), May 11, 2001
fiddle heads are the only fern that looks like a fiddle head when the come up, at least around here in Mich,,
-- stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 12, 2001.
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), May 14, 2001.
-- Epona (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 16, 2001.
I know I'm a bit late on this answer, (or am I early for next spring's crop?)but I pick fiddleheads EVERY year. I'm 40 years old and I dont believe that there has been one of those years that I haven't had a fiddlehead. Mama probably pureed them for me as a baby. (just kidding)
Does that make me an expert?
I always went out with my mother, father, sister and brother to get packbaskets and pails full of fiddleheads. Us kids were each expected to at least pick a pail full before we could call it a day. (until the next day, that is) Do you know how many fiddleheads that is?! We must have had fiddleheads morning, noon and night! Anyway, the first year that I went out to pick them on my own, I picked the wrong fern. Nobody ate them, but I took them home to my mother and she told me I got the wrong ones. She probably couldn't understand how I had picked so many fiddleheads my whole life and not known which ones to pick that day. I will never forget the lesson learned that day.....
Here's the way to tell fiddleheads from other ferns: fiddleheads have a brown, paper like covering on them while poking up through the ground. This paper can be picked off and should be because it is bitter tasting. The 'other' fern, which often grows alongside the fiddlehead has a white fuzz which does not come off. Pick the baby ferns with the brown paper stuff.
My husband made us a fiddlehead cleaner. Let me see if I can describe it. It's almost like those compost tumblers, only he made it out of wire mesh so the brown paper stuff can fall through the holes of the mesh. The door is on the end with the crank handle. This sure beats hand picking the brown stuff off. Just a couple of minutes in the tumbler and they're all clean!
-- Nancy in Maine (email@example.com), October 20, 2001.