Fiddlehead ferns are an edible spring green that is the unfurled frond of a young ostrich fern, which looks like the scrolling at the top end of a violin neck. Fiddleheads are a traditional food in northern New England and the maritime provinces of Canada, but certain types of ferns are also used in some Asian dishes. We carry only the ostrich fern, as it is less bitter than other varieties. There are fiddlehead ferns available early in the spring from the Pacific Coast, but we have found them inferior to the ostrich ferns available later from the Atlantic region.
To cook fiddleheads, bring a small amount of lightly salted water to a steady boil, add washed fiddleheads, and boil for 10 minutes. They can also be steamed for 20 minutes. Serve at once with melted butter or vinegar. The sooner they are eaten, the more delicate their flavor. They may be served on toast, like asparagus. Cooked, chilled fiddleheads can be also served as a salad with an onion and vinegar dressing.
Fiddleheads from ostrich ferns are available the first week of May to the first week of June.
You can also buy dried mushrooms through our online shop. We offer 14 varieties of mushrooms, four blends, and porcini and portabella powders. Shipping is free on $75 orders. Visit our online shop here.