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Fiddleheads and more!


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Hiking last weekend, we saw fiddleheads curled near a stream (Eastern Mass)...Of course, I got all excited, and was roundly abused for my notion of finding something to eat *anywhere* we went...now, of course, I read that you can only eat one kind, and that the others are cancer-inducing, so I guess I'll have to pass them by...couldn't find any pictures on the web, and i don't have a "field guide to the ferns", like the rest of you Vermont types do :wink:

Unless there's a fool proof sign?

Edited by galleygirl (log)
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I'm chicken to eat any fiddleheads I see outside, so I wait until they're in little baskets at Whole Foods. :raz:

I had some from Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago. Over $14 a pound, but worth every penny, but I'm glad there were just the 2 of us eating!

Just nuked them till tender crisp, then finished them in browned butter. Wonderful!!

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It's a little early yet for F-heads in SoVT, but my garlic is looking fab. Of course, it'll be a while before I can actually use it. I'll be planting salad greens on Monday.

Hey GG, I'm in Southern VT.

Found mine about 10-ish miles louth of Manchester along the battenkill. On the menu in a heart beat!

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It's a little early yet for F-heads in SoVT, but my garlic is looking fab. Of course, it'll be a while before I can actually use it. I'll be planting salad greens on Monday.

Hey GG, I'm in Southern VT.

Found mine about 10-ish miles louth of Manchester along the battenkill. On the menu in a heart beat!

Get out! You in Arlington? You cook professionally there?

I'm due back home late tomorrow after a scintilating/grey/wet 5 days in England's Midlands. I'll have to hike down to my motherlode spot and check the F-head's progress. Who knew?

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Unless there's a fool proof sign?

I used to pick a ton of 'em back in my VT days and the trick is to pick the ones that aren't fuzzy. The good ones have a clear head and small brown chaff around the base. Cut an inch from the head. Any encased in fuzzy stuff are bitter. I'm going looking tomorrow.

Incidently, I have a horseradish plant in the yard that yields amazing two-tone leaves. Now that it's getting warm, the shoots of this thing are screaming to be cut and sauteed or saladized. Anyone have any experience with this item?

Also, did I blow up the NE-AnyoneHere thread with my psychotic rantings? :unsure: I really have to lay off that new Dark Magic from Green Mountain Coffee, whew...!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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:Dean scream: Yeah, man, the F-heads are happening! I'll wander out with my camera tomorrow and snap some pics, both of fiddlehead and non-fiddlehead ferns, so aspiring foragers will know what to look for. Maybe I'll get me a fishing license and see if I can land a trout or two to go with (been a long time since I've cast, though).

A few springs ago, a chum and I hatched an impromptu plan for a perfect spring dinner. We talked in the early afternoon; he promised to go out and hook us a nice fat trout, I promised to do the rest. Around 6 in the evening, the sky turned a dark, bruised grey and then let loose a downpour. Not one to welch on promises, I grabbed basket and knife and went out in the rain to gather fiddleheads and some sorrel (the sorrel not wild, alas). My chum was 45 minutes late and arrived drenched and blue-lipped with a two-and-a-half pound rainbow trout dangling from a finger. As he cleaned it, we poked through the contents of its gut and examined its final meal: some algae and a few bugs. I made a quick sorrel and cream sauce, and we dined on grilled trout with the sauce, sautéed fiddleheads and a crisp, cold St. Veran. Somewhere around the middle of the bottle, the sun broke through and everything outside glittered in the fresh rain.

Edited to add exerpted quote from something I wrote elsewhere.

Edited by GG Mora (log)
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Interesting. The ferns in my yard are past the fiddlehead stage, while those in my secret motherlode spot are about a week away from harvest. Anyway, here's a pic that shows just what you should look for in a fiddlehead fern: shiny, grass-green shoots covered with an onion-skin-colored papery husk. I'll post more pics as they progress, and will try and find some no-no ferns. If I'm not mistaken, some of the "off-brand" ferns are not just bitter, they can be toxic. Will research.

i6462.jpg

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Beautiful pic! Thems the ones, by jeezum! That onionskin-like stuff is the sure-bet. Someone up thread said they were going for $14 a pound somewhere, whoa! What better way to spend a spring morning in the NE? A fed-ex here and a fed-ex there, cash money? Hmmmm....

:cool:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Does anyone know when morels start showing up in Massachusetts? I live south of Boston, and thought we'd take the kids and try hunting for them. I know what they look like, but not sure where to find them. I've heard they grow near Ash trees... can anyone give me tips on what types of places I should look? Of course, I'm not asking for your secret stash. Just thought it would be fun to do with the kids, and morels seemed safer than looking for shrooms I know nothing about.

Pic of the fiddleheads was great by the way...

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Over $14 a pound, but worth every penny, but I'm glad there were just the 2 of us eating!

Wow! I just picked them up here in No. California for $7.50/lb!

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do we get ramps up here in Maine? Yum Yum they give you the devils breath but boy are they tasty sauteed in some butter ...to go with the fiddleheads of course! Prefereably with some eggs triple yum!

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do we get ramps up here in Maine?

We get them here in SoVT, so I would be surprised if you didn't have them in Maine.

Let me take a nyah-nyah moment to tell you all that I have chanterelles growing in the woods behind the house (in season, of course). Just to whet your appetities. :biggrin:

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Having recently had ramps for the 1st time last week, I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on where to find them in CT or central MA (springfield area). Willing to drive, i'd just prefer not to go to Boston for them....

Or suggestions for good farmers markets until my veggie co-op share starts in mid-June? (which, BTW, might be one of the best things I ever joined....)

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for anyone in the Portland area I just got some tasty looking fiddleheads at Harbor Fish Market (my favorite fish market by the way) for 3.99 #. So tonight it's soy glazed halibut with wasabi butter(I like to add a little fresh horseradish to it), steamed fiddleheads with a touch of fresh butter, some good bread, Allagash White and I am one happy girl!

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Mmmm, sounds good. I'm doing orange roughy in foil packets, so I thought about sticking a few fiddleheads in there with the other veggies.

Fiddleheads were 4.99/lb. at my local Whole Foods market this week.

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

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Interesting. The ferns in my yard are past the fiddlehead stage, while those in my secret motherlode spot are about a week away from harvest. Anyway, here's a pic that shows just what you should look for in a fiddlehead fern: shiny, grass-green shoots covered with an onion-skin-colored papery husk. I'll post more pics as they progress, and will try and find some no-no ferns. If I'm not mistaken, some of the "off-brand" ferns are not just bitter, they can be toxic. Will research.

i6462.jpg

Hey, GG, thanks for the pic, and the tutorial...Those look totally different from what I was seeing...I, no doubt, was seeing the "do not eats"...Mine were curls 4-10" above the ground, yet their papery coatings were still white...The stuff I found said all ferns go thru a fiddle head stage, but the inedible ones can cause stomache cancer with 2-3 years...beyond bitter.

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You were right to leave them alone. The white fuzzy ones are not good eats. Sorry for the semi alton quote.

As for the cancerous idea. I seem to recall that all ferns have at least a trace amount of some chemical that has been linked to cancer but upon cooking them that chemical is rendered harmless. So if in doubt cook it out.

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Does anyone know when morels start showing up in Massachusetts? I live south of Boston, and thought we'd take the kids and try hunting for them. I know what they look like, but not sure where to find them. I've heard they grow near Ash trees... can anyone give me tips on what types of places I should look? Of course, I'm not asking for your secret stash. Just thought it would be fun to do with the kids, and morels seemed safer than looking for shrooms I know nothing about.

Pic of the fiddleheads was great by the way...

here is a great site that helps me track the season as it comes along...

http://www.morelmushroomhunting.com/

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PORTLAND ME.

Ramps at Portland Green Grocer, Commercial St. THIS WEEK about $7.50/bunch

Also there, Morels at around $22/lb. Neighbor cooked them without cleaning and lots of cute little worms began making a run for it in the hot pan w/butter.

What does one do when they are fresh? Soak in water:vinegar, 10:1?

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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I found morels at the green grocer in Kittery. They had the worms, too. I refrigerated them in plastic and the little worms started making a break for it in the bag. I just removed them. I also roughed up the shrooms in a water bath (with several changes). That got out a couple more worms. I think I got them all. The bath is necessary to get all the dirt and junk out, too.

I'm dying for ramps, but Portland is a bit far to go for them. I'm hoping to find some in the woods near home...

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