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Fiddlehead Ferns


menton1
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I don't feel that way about anything else. :unsure:

Most other things are food of one sort or another.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I've heard them described as earthy, woody and grassy. There is a combined element of truth here. To me they taste like dirt.

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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I've heard them described as earthy, woody and grassy. There is a combined element of truth here. To me they taste like dirt.

?? Fiddleheads taste like dirt?? Do you wash them well??

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I must've just had bad fiddleferns... If they had tasted like _anything_ I would have been happy.

I managed to eat a big plate of something that tasted like nothing.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I'm sorry that many of you have to go to a restaurant and a market to eat and get fiddleheads. Since I live in a rural town, fiddleheads are all around me when they are in season.

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I'm sorry that many of you have to go to a restaurant and a market to eat and get fiddleheads. Since I live in a rural town, fiddleheads are all around me when they are in season.

Perhaps Japanese fiddleheads don't taste like stagnant bog scum as do North American ones.

After all, Japanese eggplants are delicate and creamy while North American eggplants are flabby and pulpy.

Bear in mind as well that the fiddleheads most commonly and readily available here are commercially produced.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I'm sorry that many of you have to go to a restaurant and a market to eat and get fiddleheads.  Since I live in a rural town, fiddleheads are all around me when they are in season.

Perhaps Japanese fiddleheads don't taste like stagnant bog scum as do North American ones.

After all, Japanese eggplants are delicate and creamy while North American eggplants are flabby and pulpy.

Bear in mind as well that the fiddleheads most commonly and readily available here are commercially produced.

In that case, I'm doubly sorry and I'm absolutely in your camp. Let me say:

Feh.

edit:

Gah.

:laugh:

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Oh you poor souls. That's okay; more fiddleheads for me! I just bought a bunch, boiled them a bit (in lieu of hand-washing), and then stir-fired them with butter and salt. Just before taking them off the heat I let them stand for a minute or so in order to get a slight charring effect. Mmmm...

I don't think they taste like asparagus or grass. Come to think of it, they actually taste not unlike cooked *white* asparagus, only crunchy.

Edited by Hest88 (log)
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I don't get it. Well prepared fiddleheads are delicious in the same way that otherwise bland mushroom preparations can be. Try this:

Trim and clean well under cold running water. Rub the flat surface of the fern with your fingers to remove brown fronds. (Incidently, choose only the freshest fiddleheads which will be bright green.) Blanch in salted water for 3 - 4 minutes. Shock in ice water and then drain.

Heat a saute pan over medium to high heat.

Add 2 tbls olive oil and 1 tbls butter. Add 1/2 lb fiddleheads and liberally season with salt and pepper.

Add 1 1/2 tbls finely minced garlic. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Do not let garlic brown.

Add juice from 1 medium sized lemon. Cook for another 30 seconds. Serve hot.

Try this same preparation with haricots vert and toasted pinenuts which are added just after the lemon juice.

If this tastes like nothing, or worse yet, dirt, then bring it on.

Jay

You are what you eat.

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Here is Tapawingo's recipe for Cassoulet of Morels, Fiddleheads and Asparagus (Scroll to the last recipe on the page.) It originally was printed in The Best of the Midwest, by Linda and Fred Griffith; the link is an article in the May 4, 1997, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I had it once at the restaurant and made it once at home; both times it was just too good. It's hard to go wrong, though, no matter what the other ingredients, when you combine butter, garlic, shallots, cream, Madeira, and cheese.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I live in New Brunswick, where for over a hundred and fifty years fiddleheads and baked shad are a celebratory feast signifying that we made it through another spring freshet without general inundation. The locally owned McCain's, the food giant with their corporate headquarters in New Brunswick, is generally credited with popularizing fiddleheads, a cherished local delicacy.

Most people eat fiddle heads boiled or saute'd, then add a dab of butter and lemon juice or vinegar. Being Chinese, I chow fiddleheads with beef and fermented black beans.

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Fiddleheads are great; they do taste like asparagus when you steam them. Don't eat them raw, they must be cooked (same to be said of stinging nettle). They just won't digest very well.

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They just won't digest very well.

Right.

The trouble is, bracken, while edible, is also highly toxic - especially the fiddleheads - and has been causing bellyache for farmers for centuries where unwary ruminants might graze on the succulent curling shoots.

Bracken poisoning causes depression of bone-marrow activity which leads to severe leukopenia - a form of white blood cell anaemia, - thrombocytopenia - an abnormally low blood platelet count - and hemorrhagic syndrome. In addition, the uncooked plant contains the enzyme thiaminase, which can destroy thiamine (vitamin B1) and cause a possibly fatal disease similar to beri-beri in non-ruminants such as horses.

Not very pleasant. But, in addition to nasty effects on the blood Pteridium aquilinum was also found - in 1960 - to be highly carcinogenic causing polyp-type bladder and intestinal tumours in grazing animals who ate large amounts of bracken or were fed bracken-containing fodder.

Click.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I know that the "aku" (harshness or bitterness) of bracken is carcinogenic, so do many Japanese. That is why we remove some (not all) of aku before eating. (Removing all aku loses the flavor of bracken.) And braken and other types of fern are delicacies that can be eaten in the springtime only. I believe that we are safe from their toxins as long as we eat them in small quantity.

EDIT:

Photo of bracken (previously posted in another thread in the Japan Forum):

i7114.jpg

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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If your fiddleheads taste bitter or earthy, you can remove that by boiling them in several changes of water. I've tried this, and they still have fiddlehead flavor. Unless, of course, the earthiness is what you like. :huh:

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