Fiddleheads (with garlic)

Or: The pufferfish of the plant kingdom (with garlic)

Now right off the bat, you’re probably asking yourself two questions: 1) What the hell is a fiddlehead; and 2) Why the hell would anyone eat one. Yesterday my answers would have been, respectively, “I don’t know”; and “I don’t know”. Today, my answers are, again respectively, “The not-yet unfurled frond of a specific type of fern that is foraged for a few weeks in the spring”; and “I still don’t know”. (I should note that they are nowhere near as unappealing as dandelion greens. Those were probably the one thing I just couldn’t handle in the winter CSA. Ever wonder why no one really carries straight-up, unmixed dandelion greens? You probably haven’t, but I’ll tell you why anyway. It’s because they don’t taste good. Anyway, back to fiddleheads.)

Fiddleheads. It will become apparent pretty quickly that I just like the word.

Fiddleheads. It will become apparent pretty quickly that I just like the word.

The CSA really brought in the big guns for the last week of my winter share, having failed to break my spirit with the Great Cabbage Deluge of ’14. I mean, the first thing I noticed about my new fiddleheads was that the bag they came in had a label with what I’ll call a strident warning about the need to cook them. Combine that with the extra warning in that week’s email and I would go so far as to call it “shrill”. Bottom line: they really really advise against eating fiddleheads raw. Apparently there is a risk of some kind of gastrointestinal unpleasantness or associated microbial invasion if they are consumed uncooked. But hey, the same applies to chicken, and I eat that all the time, so why not. Continue reading