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Definition: Fiddleheads are a type of fern whose coiled fronds can be eaten as a vegetable. In North America, fiddleheads appear in the spring. Depending on how they're prepared, fiddleheads can taste like broccoli, asparagus, spinach or green beans.

Cooking fiddleheads involves boiling or steaming them. Once cooked, they can be eaten warm as a vegetable, or cooled and served in a salad. Fiddleheads are frequently served with emulsified sauces like Hollandaise or mayonnaise, or alternately, with a simple melted butter with lemon.

Fiddleheads are named because their coiled fronds somewhat resemble the carved scroll at the end of the neck of a violin.
Also Known As:
  • Ostrich fern
  • Bracken
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