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Information about Canadian Fiddleheads



Go to:-   Canada Main Page  |   Canadian Speciality Dish   |  Cooking by Country Main Page



The first Canadian speciality ingredient which comes to mind is Maple Syrup, and you can read all about that ingredient by clicking HERE.  However, we have decided to feature a much more unusual ingredient.


Fiddleheads is the name given to an edible wild fern. The part which is eaten is the coiled end which looks like the scrolled head of a violin (hence the name). They have a taste which has been described as a cross between asparagus and okra and were introduced to the new European settlers by the native Indians. They are a good source of vitamins A and C and are generally cooked and eaten like a leaf vegetable.

Their natural harvesting season is quite short, only about 3 weeks, and they have to be picked just after they’ve emerged from the ground but before they have unfurled. However they are now available frozen.

They must be well washed before cooking. Trim the stem end to no more than 5cm/2-inches, rub any dry brown flakes (chaff) off then wash well in cold water. One method is to place them in a large colander or basket and dip several times in a large container of cold water however soaking in cold water for 20 minutes before rinsing not only aids with the removal of the chaff but also helps to keep them fresh and crisper.

You can find recipes for Fiddleheads on the main Canada Cooking by Country page or by using the search form.

Happy cooking!

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