Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fiddleheads - Freaky or Fabulous?

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What are fiddleheads? I know you're all wondering because until 2 weeks ago I never heard of them before. I first saw them on a blog and thought they looked strange but kinda cool. Never thought I'd come across them but to my surprise one of my local supermarkets had them. I bought a small bunch just to see what they were like but they intimidated me and sat in my fridge for three days.

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Finally last night I decided that I would just suck it up and try them. If they didn't taste good no one was going to force me to eat them! Steve already said he wasn't going to eat them. This was his face when I showed them to him.

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I can't say I blame him. That was probably my face when I first saw them!

After doing some researching and speaking to some friends on bakespace I found out that I should remove the brown papery skin and rinse them really well. There wasn't any papery skin on them and so I was a little confused. There was a fuzzy flowery type of stuff (for lack of a better word) inside the coiled part. I think that's what freaked me out because I wasn't sure if I was supposed to take that off or not. Everytime I tried to uncoil it and wipe that off the fiddlehead broke. It kind of snapped like a string bean. Hmmm...so, I just washed them, left that part alone and cut off the ends of each one like I normally do for the stems of broccoli rabe. I boiled them for two minutes and then sauteed them in garlic and oil and sprinkled them with a little salt.

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They tasted good. I was surprised. They weren't as bitter as I thought they would be. They did taste similar to the stems of broccoli rabe but milder like a string bean. I know, two totally different things but I don't know how else to describe them. The problem for me was that they looked really weird. I kept getting these images of them turning into worms or coming to life and freaky and snake-like. So, I couldn't eat them. They just looked like something so foreign and I couldn't trust it.

I still think you should try them for yourself but you don't have a lot of time. They are only around for a short amount of time and I think that window is closing. If you do try them let me know what you think. Are they fabulous or do you agree with me, they are just too damn freaky to eat?




14 comments:

Spryte said...

Very cool!!

I tried them once a few years ago. I didn't have the fabulous BakeSpace support system at that time and just kinda winged it. I don't remember how I prepared them, but at the time, I didn't care for them.

Maybe I'll give them another try!

Culinary Alchemist said...

MMMMM Michele, They look GREAT!!! I still have not found any down here. :( But I am going to keep trying, for about 1 more week, before the season is over..

Great Job!! Sorry bout them being kinda creepy... LOL

Theresa said...

I've always seen them, but always steered away from them because they too look freaky to me. So I think I should introduce myself to a new veggie. As a matter of fact, they were staring me in the face yesterday at the supermarket!

Patti T. said...

I tried them once, like you said, they almost looked snake like. The one time trying them was enough for me. I just didn't care for them. I do have to admit, yours look a LITTLE more appetizing. Still......nah I don't want to give them another try.

Michele said...

Spryte - You're right, the fabulous bakespace support system certainly makes a difference!!!! :-)

Shane - Not your fault!

So all of you that agree they are creepy...eat them blindfolded??? LOL

ImStuffed said...

If they didn't have that curled up section that reminds me of a rolled up centipede, the'd be ok LOL. I've never seen them at my grocery store, but I'll look for them. Not that I'd buy them...but I'm curious. Although it's always fun doing a "science project" in the kitchen LOL

Bob said...

Hmmm, I'm guessing they are probably both. Heh. I haven't tried them. I have a buddy who is always trying to get me to eat things he doesn't think I'll like and he has pushed them a couple times. They look like insect parts to me, which makes me a bit leery.

Rowena... said...

Fiddleheads!! I am jealous - these are dang near coveted in Hawaii (wouldn't know about Italy though). Awhile back I wrote about them on a return visit home.

Ho'io: Hawaii's edible fern

DDpie said...

ITA with you and Spryte, I would try them now that I have BS support. Jus' call me a wimp (oh, and look on Steve's face, priceless!)

Kuria said...

hi! just wanted to say I love your blog and your recipes :) I'm Malaysian and over here we eat those ferns all the time! They might look creepy, but I think, if they're cooked the right way, they are superbly yummylicious! in fact, they're one of my favourite vegetables to have for any meal! My mum usually fries them the Chinese way (with oil and garlic) then adds something we call 'sambal' (which is usually pounded chillies,chilli paste dried prawns, onions, garlic - then fried)to make it super spicy!

Michele said...

Hi Kuria - Thanks for leaving a comment! I do think they tasted good. I just wasn't used to them. So funny that you called garlic and oil the Chinese way. I'd call it the Italian way! LOL

Kuria said...

Haha! yeah! i guess garlic and oil is italian too! just that, over here, that's the way the chinese cook vege. Sauteed in oil and garlic! Hmmm...maybe the Chinese learnt it from Marco Polo or was it the other way around? haha. Oh well, doesn't really matter to me, as long as the food is yummy! haha!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I've never had fiddleheads either and I wouldn't know what to do with them...lol I'm adventurous though so if I did see them for sale I will try them.

Your husband's expression was too cute! Is he a man who loves calamari legs, or like mine who loves tripe (cow's stomach), but to them something like fiddlehead plants aretoo ugly to eat? :-)

Carolyn said...

Steve's face is classic in this pic! I am so curious to try these...I have never seen them before you mentioned them on BakeSpace!