Monday, April 7, 2008

How We Grow

I wrote [2 posts below] that some of us may grow, psychologically, like corkscrews. In the botanical world, the stems of some water lilies twist up through water this way. But actually, I've always related more to fiddlehead ferns (left). Their growing tips start off so tightly clenched, each seems to be a solid disc; but they unfurl into frothy fronds.

In spring, fiddleheads turn up in specialty food markets, where they're very expensive (or you can pick them yourself, if you live in Maine or thereabouts). I bought some once and sauteed them in butter. They tasted woodsy and green.


Fiddlehead Fern said...

If you really dig fiddleheads, they're also available online at and are in season now. They come from pickers in the Pacific Northwest. I made them for the first time this weekend, just blanched them and added a little butter and parm ... they taste like mellow asparagus but definitely have the "wow" factor. I think next time I'd add a little garlic or more flavor.

Rudyinparis said...

Wow--fiddleheads! We used to go pick these every spring. 2 tips: look for a smallish river with banks that have a heavy clay content--and add a splash of cider vinegar to them along with the butter after you steam them.

Thanks for the quick blast back to childhood!

fresca said...

Golly, R., even as I wrote "if you live in Maine," it didn't occur to me that *you* might have actually gathered fiddleheads.
To me, they are magical beings, so to know someone who knows how to find them--(and a smallish river too!)--that is double-magic.
Thanks for that, and the cider vinegar tip, too, which is truly making my mouth water.

fresca said...

P.S. RE 1st comment, above: the tip about parmesan sounds good, but Marx Foods charges almost $22/pound + shipping for fiddleheads, which is kinda steep. They were about $10/pound here in the co-op, last year. Shop around.