Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fiddleheading in Maine

Years ago Maine Man used to go out scouting riverbeds and stream banks in search of ostrich ferns and return with grain bags overflowing with fiddleheads ready for resale. Back then (15 or so years ago) I really never gave it much thought. I'd cook up a meal or two and the rest he'd sell. Since becoming a foodie, a couple years ago I have BEGGED him to bring me out. Then I mentioned to a friend I wanted to go and THANFULLY he called this weekend and took us out.......I was beyond excited!

Here he points out what NOT to pick, the red ferns. To the right of that are the real deal. Couldn't he be a hand model? ;) Or if you are a sicko nurses like MM & I all you think of when you see hands like that is....nice veins....I could so slip an 18 gauge in that.

These tasty little morsels are often found around these unique looking plants. MM calls them skunk cabbage.

These furry little ferns are another example of what NOT to pick.

We picked about 3 gallons. A few meals for us and a few to give away. I'd like to go out at least one more time before the seasons ends to gather some for pickling. I will post about it if I am successful. In past years I have froze some but I was not happy with how they held up. They seemed to get frostbite easily.
On an ending note: THANKS goes out to my country neighbor for bringing us out and sharing his secret stash. GREATLY APPRECIATED!
Both the kids and adults had a good time.
FYI - In the country in Maine if you live less than 6 miles from one another your considered neighbors ;)


Prairie Mother said...

So...how do they taste? And how do you cook them? I have never seen anything like that in the Midwest. Of course here we pick morel mushrooms and dandelion greens to eat.

Kelly said...

I know exactly what you mean about the veins. I see people in the grocery store and have the same perverse thoughts. In the "old" days we put in double lumens. Now that requires a VEIN! I will have to go out and check out the fiddleheads. I love them. Now, that is a vegie that we never had down south. I love them.

Anonymous said...

How fun and nice pictures!


jenn said...

I've always wondered how you could tell which fern buds were ostrich ferns!

Mandie said...

Wow, I have never heard of them. They sure do look yummy though. What do they taste like? How nice it is to have a "tour guide". I wouldn't know what to pick and what to not pick.

I made the quiche the other day and the family really liked it. It was nice to use up all of those extra eggs too.

Have a great day!

Little Messy Missy said...

Very pretty. They look good!

Country Girl said...

They taste different then anything else. Closest comparison may be asparagus?? We steam or boil them eat with a dab of butter, s & p and a splash of vinegar.

Jen, there stems are U-shaped

Mandie, great to hear you made the quiche and enjoyed!

Anonymous said...

Love the 18-gauge needle reference, Kim! It's true that med-affiliated people are always looking in a different way, at the world as they experience it! Neat post!!!

Dana said...

That sounds wonderful! We just discovered the wonder that is lilac jelly and now I'm excited to try all sorts of things not normally cultivated for food.