All About the Fiddlehead Fern

Fiddlehead ferns are most recognizable by their shape.

They are curled in like a scroll found at the end of a fiddle or other stringed instrument. Find out more about the fiddle fern, what it tastes like, and how you can use it in a variety of recipes.

Description of Fiddlehead Fern

The fiddlehead fern is considered to be a leaf vegetable. They are grown in temperate regions, but not in large quantities, making them rather expensive to purchase. The fiddlehead fern must be harvested before it has a chance to roll out into a frond. They get cut before reaching their full height and chopped down close to the ground.

There are several different varieties of fiddlehead fern found throughout the world, including:

  • Western sword fern
  • Lady fern
  • Cinnamon fern
  • Royal fern
  • Vegetable fern
  • Bracken
  • Ostrich fern
  • Flowering

What Does Fiddlehead Fern Taste Like?

Fiddlehead fern has a touch of nuttiness to the flavor along with a bit of grassy or spring-like hints. A combination of young spinach and asparagus is the best way to compare it to something more familiar. Some that have tried fiddlehead fern report it tastes slightly like mushroom or artichoke as well.

Fiddlehead Fern in Foods Around the World

You can enjoy fiddlehead fern on its own in a sautéed version like this recipe, or you can add them to Meyer lemons and capers like in this recipe. If you’re looking for something a little more, there are plenty of delicious ways to eat these ferns. Explore the Food Network’s 12 top ways to enjoy them now.

News & Pop Culture

Fiddlehead ferns have been known to contain certain toxins and must be washed thoroughly and appropriately before consuming. Moreover, in most instances, the vegetable should only be eaten in small quantities. Larger quantities have been known to be fatal. Explore what tragically happened to these two family members after they ate fiddlehead fern.

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