Saturday, May 7, 2011

Foraging Fiddleheads

Spring in the Northeast is a glorious time of year. The snow is kinda, almost gone, the trees are beginning to bud, the Sun returns after a 6 month hiatus, and all varieties of birds start reappearing. With this change in season, we have taken more interest in the latter part of hunting and gathering.

Recently, we have taken to scouring the forests on our respective lands in search of the elusive morel. Unfortunately, we have yet to gather any, most likely due to the chillier weather that is still hanging around from Winter. However, while venturing for morels last evening, we happened upon another great gatherer's find!


It was an accidental find, but one we were happy to capitalize on, despite not knowing if we actually enjoy the taste of fiddleheads. We therefore picked conservatively. It appeared that the fiddlehead season is slightly past it's prime, as many of the fronds had already unraveled into ferns.

How does one eat a fiddlehead fern? We weren't sure either, before yesterday, but it just so happens that before we went morel/fiddlehead gathering we stumbled upon a basket of fiddleheads in the Hanover Coop (priced at $6.99 per lb, mind you) and above the basket was a tag which described the cooking process. We didn't think much of it until we actually found the fiddleheads last night! Turns out, to reduce the risk of side effects of potential toxins, boiling the fiddleheads for 10 minutes is recommended with at least one or two changes of water. Mmmm, delicious.

The boiling and eating process will likely take place tonight before we head to contra. So a warning to the contra people, if we're hunched over in pain, it's probably due to the food borne illness that may or may not be associated with fiddleheads.

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