Friday, May 4, 2012

FIDDLE HEADS...WHAT ARE THOSE?

So the question of the day is: What is a fiddle head? I grew up in the middle of nowhere with a mother with a green thumb and a stepfather who was a great cook and one of the perks of growing up in such an environment is that I have always known what a fiddle head is. I was very surprised the other day when Simon and I were wandering through the market and I go so excited about the fiddle heads being out and he didn't know what they were. I have realized this week that a lot of people don't know what fiddle heads are! So please allow me to enlighten you....fiddle heads are first and foremost very nourishing crunchy spirals of goodness - but I'm sure you could figure that out by looking at them. Fiddle heads are little baby ferns. They are only harvested in the early spring before the fern blossoms and they are yum yum yummy.

FUN FACTS ABOUT OUR FIDDLE HEAD FRIENDS
  • The name comes from the resemblance to the curled ornamentation at the end of string instruments.
  • Canada is home to the largest distributor of fiddle heads - NorCliff Farms Inc. in Ontario
  • The deep green colour makes fiddle heads a source of beta-carotene (also found in orange vegetables)
  • High in vitamin A: needed for healthy vision and immune system
  • Also a good source of vitamin C, iron, phosphorus, niacin and many more fabulous vitamins and minerals. 
  • You must prepare fiddle heads properly before eating them as they can contain natural toxins. Similarly do not eat fiddle heads once they have uncurled and turned into ferns...ferns are not food!

Instructions for Preparing Fiddle Heads:
*Best prepared the day you purchase them.
1) Boil the fiddle heads in salted water for 4-5  minutes.
2) Change the water and boil a second time in more salted water for another 4-5 minutes.

Courtesy of Alan Kidawski @ bwps.org

Hot Fiddle Heads
-Sautee the prepared fiddle heads with olive oil / coconut oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic to taste
OR
-Experiment with your own seasonings

Cold Fiddle Heads
Using prepared Fiddle Heads.....
-Add to salads with a balsamic dressing
OR
-Dip in hummus or another dip

If you have never eaten a fiddle head try one...its the perfect season for them! Get them fast while they are still available at the farmers markets. 

Love,
Malakai


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