Thursday, May 19, 2005
Hunting for Fiddlehead Recipes
Well fiddleheads may seem a bit obscure for this illustration, but I love them. Along with tulips, daffodils, pussy willows and magnolias in bloom, they are the true sign that Spring is here, at least in Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and New England.
The other night my husband said the internet is THE primary research tool used today. You can find anything you want in an instant and it is replacing the world of books, at least as a reference. Well, I own 146 cookbooks and granted, some of them are very specific (one day soon I’ll do a post with a synopsis of my favourites) so I didn’t expect to find fiddleheads in all of them, but I did think I could challenge that statement since I'm a die-hard book lover. So I did a little test.
3:35 P.M. – I started looking through my cookbooks for any reference to fiddleheads.
4:08 P.M. – Hallelujah! I finally found the first reference in a 1969 copy of Chatelaine’s Adventures in Cooking – “Fiddleheads are tight curled, unopened fronds of fiddlehead ferns. The finest young tender ones are gathered in quantity in New Brunswick where they are sold (hey what about mentioning that they can be found locally in Ontario, Quebec and New England as well as the Maritimes?). The flavour is a cross between asparagus and broccoli. Serve boiled, buttered.” That’s it!!!
4:14 P.M. found another from my 1970’s collection of Time Life - Foods of the World series. The recipe used frozen fiddleheads (sacrilege!) and hollandaise sauce.
4:25 P.M. I gave up. I had looked through every book and only found those two mentions.
On to the web at 4:30 P.M. I did a Google search for fiddlehead + recipe and in one second (I kid you not!!!) generated 17,600 possibilities. There is even a site CALLED fiddle-heads The sites range from explanation sites to more general sites that had recipes like fiddlehead soup , stuffed trout and more.
That said, when I’m looking for a genre of cooking – Indian, Jewish holiday fare, BBQ – and want to find a range of dishes to choose from, I still prefer my books. I love sitting in the living room with 10-20 books around me, all with little slips of paper book marking my options. It helps me visualize the feast.
When hunting for recipes, what is your preference?