As I had never seen these before, I was taking photographs of them with the enthusiasm and fervour paparazzi usually reserve for shots of Kate Moss naked. I guess it was for this reason, that the lady working on the farm stand came over to ask me why I was so fascinated. I said “I’ve never seen these before!” – she was surprised. In addition I didn’t know at the time, but the night before I had eaten something in a restaurant and it reminded me of okra, but it was too firm and crisp to be okra, but a bit slimy as well, which is why I thought, hm okra. Seeing fiddlehead fern I realised,that’s what it was. Pretty name, pretty plant, did I know you could eat the fiddleheads? No I did not. I didn’t even know that you can eat the ferns in Switzerland, although if Wikipedia is to be believed, edible ferns span the globe. Who knew?
I discovered them at Jordan’s farm, I mentioned the farm in an earlier post, we went there in search of perfect farm to table cuisine. Instead we found the fiddlehead fern, I bought some in brine, I will serve them to Nonna di Giulia. who has made me many wonderful things down south, and introduced me to fun stuff such as samphire foraged from close to her home. I like the idea of introducing her to fiddlehead ferns foraged a continent away and preserved by intrepid women who know their kitchens as does the Nonna di Giulia.
I spent a lot of time talking to Mrs Jordan – at some point a fellow customer interrupted, he wanted to buy some fiddleheads, he also shared his recipe, he puts them uncooked into salads, or his favourite recipe: dip the fiddlehead fern heads in egg wash (remove the stalk) coat in bread crumbs and fry – crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, he sounded very happy. Sadly as I was on holiday I was not able to buy lots of ferns to experiment in my kitchen. However, I am bringing this offering as a party topic to Fiesta Friday – I’d love to know if anyone has made these before?