Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Fiddlehead Season

Fiddlehead ferns are a sign of Spring here in Maine.

Ayuh . . . we eat 'em!

They're called Fiddleheads because their shape resembles the curved head of a fiddle, or violin.

The ferns grow wild in wet areas. Finding them in the wild is not easy. Locals who know where fiddleheads can be harvested tend to be very secretive about their locations. For most of us, that means rushing to the local market when word gets around town that "the fiddleheads are in".

These fiddleheads are washed (you need to rinse them well, more than once) and ready to cook.
We enjoyed them Monday night.
 Cooked fiddleheads taste a bit like asparagus.
They can be steamed or sautéed.
I love them with just a little butter and salt.

They're often served with other foods unique to Maine . . . like red snappers, our much-loved bright  red hot dogs  . . .

Like these cooked on the grill at our favorite Maine campground . . .

Red hot dogs at Searsport Shores
Or with another Maine favorite, lobster!

photo  from lobster bake at Searsport Shores
Fiddleheads are so iconic here that the very word has inspired names around the state. There are Fiddlehead Farms, Fiddlehead Restaurants, a Fiddlehead School, a Fiddlehead Campground and a Fiddlehead Arts Center.

The spiral shape of the fiddlehead is an inspiration for local artists  . . .

Black and white drawing by Maine artist Jennifer Lawson.
and even jewelers.

Fiddlehead green Maine Tourmeline ring is from Cross Jewelers, Portland

For now though, I'll have my fiddleheads steamed ,  with just a little butter and salt!



  1. Oh my, these look good. I don't think I've ever eaten them :( I do love asparagus!

  2. Fiddleheads are coming on here now too and are in the grocery stores. I forgot to get some today though but I still have a couple of bags left in the freezer from last year to use up. I like mine with butter and pepper and sometimes a dash of white vinegar. :)

  3. You really eat those??? I think your fiddleheads and red hot dogs probably aren't known very well outside of Maine. You guys are kind of isolated up there. :) Of course, I still can't believe they eat catfish here. Growing up in NJ I was taught to throw the catfish back when fishing. My father said they were bottom dwellers and no good to eat.

  4. Oh, YUM!!! When I was a girl, my grandparents would pick them in the summers when we were at our camp (in New Hampshire White Mountains) and fry them up in butter! Haven't had them in YEARS!

  5. I ate fiddleheads for the first time this spring, and they are wonderful! They've got to be healthy, too, because they're so green.


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