As a child growing up in New Brunswick, I always wondered what the green road sign with a white swirl on it stood for. Now I know.
Fiddleheads, also known as fiddlehead greens, are tightly curled fronds found at the bottom of young ferns. The name refers to their appearance of the head of a fiddle or violin. Mostly found in New England, Maine and Eastern Canada. They require a very wet and wild environment, which explains why our spring months are the best time for harvesting.
In my opinion, Fiddleheads are best when lightly steamed, smothered in butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. If you don’t care for the actual taste of fiddleheads, you can sauté them like you would asparagus and add hollandaise sauce. They can be pickled in apple cider vinegar with shallots and canned. They can be sautéed with mushrooms and pancetta too for extra flavour, or blended in a smoothie. The possibilities are endless, you just have to get creative, and here’s why you’d want to.
Fiddleheads have many health benefits if eaten regularly. High in Vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamins B1+B2, Iron, potassium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids, to name a few. There abundance of vitamin A makes for an excellent food choice in maintaining good eyesight. As a rich source of Manganese, which assists in the formation of bone hormones and metabolism enzymes, they can lower the risk of osteoporosis. Because of their fair amount of potassium and almost NO sodium, they can help against high blood pressure. Furthermore, fiddleheads are dense in vitamin A+C so they can boost your immune system.
Needless to say, if your feeling under the weather or unenergized lately (this rain is so depressing) than maybe you should give these swirly, little green guys a try!