Fiddlehead ferns or Fiddlehead greens are the tightly rolled (furled) fronds of a young fern which are often used as a vegetable. Fiddlehead ferns have Antioxidants, Omega 3 and Omega 6 and are rich in Iron, Potassium and Fiber. Fiddleheads have been present in the cuisine of Northern France from the times of the Middle Ages - Fiddleheads have also been used in Asian cuisine and Native American cuisine for hundreds of years. In Japan, Fiddlehead ferns are known as Warabi; in Korea - Gosari; in China and Taiwan - Juecai.
Fiddlehead ferns are best harvested in early spring and are only really available seasonally. They
may be frozen for longer term storage by cleaning and blanching the Fiddleheads, then immediately putting them into an ice bath. Once cool, drain them and store them frozen in freezer bags for up to a year. 0
For food safety, fiddlehead ferns are best used cooked - wet methods like Boiling, Steaming, or Blanching or dry methods like Sauteing all work.<ref name="tfb">The Flavor Bible, (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008). ISBN 978-0316118408 </ref> Fresh fiddlehead ferns should be cleaned of as much of the papery brown husk as possible, then repeatedly washed to remove any residual husk or dirt.0 To be even more sure of the safety of your Fiddleheads, boil or steam them first, then discard the water and cook them again for consumption.
Fiddlehead ferns are also often used as part of the Korean dish Bibimbap
- Bracken - which is found throughout the world
- Ostrich fern - Which is found mostly in the northern parts of the world as well as in the eastern and central parts of North America
- Cinnamon fern - which is found in Eastern North America
- Royal fern - which is found around the world
- Zenmai or Flowering fern - which is found in East Asia
- Vegetable fern - which is found in Asia and islands in the Pacific ocean
Fiddlehead ferns have a relatively strong flavor.
- 1. Food safety tips for fiddleheads, Government of Canada, 2022