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