HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it
TELL US

fiddleheads

y
yow yul May 10, 2007 01:44 PM

I think fiddlehead season is here or almost.

Which of the restaurants would most likely be to serve fresh local produce with a short season like this?

  1. SnackHappy May 10, 2007 02:19 PM

    I saw some at Chez Louis for 8 dollars a pound as of Saturday.

    They're pretty easy to cook, you don't to wait for Toqué to put them on their menu.

    1. s
      swissfoodie May 11, 2007 02:40 AM

      They are on the menu at Decca77 - saw them there yesterday.

      1. t
        thelonious777 May 11, 2007 06:07 AM

        Nino's had them ast weekend as well. If I recall correctly, they were on a plate I ate at La Chronique around this time last year.

        www.montrealfoodie.squarespace.com

        1. carswell May 11, 2007 08:47 AM

          The first-of-season fiddleheads on sale at restos and stores may not be local. The ones I saw last weekend came from New Jersey.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carswell
            a
            Arktik May 11, 2007 09:06 AM

            I had some great little fiddleheads at APDC last friday and i just picked some up at the Loblaws (don't hate me!) for $4/lb.

          2. h
            heliotrope May 15, 2007 11:51 AM

            I had some at L'Express last week. You got a nice sized serving of them. I found that the sauce, though tasty in itself, overpowered the flavour of the fiddleheads. Much prefer the simple way of steaming, with a little squeeze of lemon. Maybe it's because that's how I would eat them as a child, after foraging in New Brunswick along forest paths.

            1 Reply
            1. re: heliotrope
              k
              kissmich May 18, 2007 05:40 PM

              L'Express has fantastic fiddleheads. As a fellow New Brunswicker, I can relate to the appreciation of the simplicity of homegrown preparations, but this sauce makes it taste like where it came from. Earthy. Yum.

            2. widehomehi May 18, 2007 05:46 PM

              Most any trail will have pounds and pounds free.I used to eat these with Mac and Cheese when I worked at a fish cannery and was poor in Alaska.Boil for a minute add butter salt pepper.

              8 Replies
              1. re: widehomehi
                y
                yow yul May 21, 2007 08:53 AM

                Thanks everyone. I've only ever had them steamed with lemon juice. So I was curious to see how Chef's prepared them.

                I was afraid I wouldn't make it to l'Express or Decca 77 before the season ends.
                So thanks to Arktik I actually checked the grocery store and found some - would never have thought to look, and Carswell I made sure they were local ( I always forget to check that part of the label)

                I've never cooked them - and if I recall they can be poisonous if not done right (I'm googling that next )

                1. re: yow yul
                  m
                  Maximilien May 21, 2007 11:33 AM

                  I don't think they can be poisonous !!! maybe very bitter if late in season ?

                  i make them the same way as asparagus; blanched with lemon and butter.

                  1. re: Maximilien
                    ScoobySnacks20 May 22, 2007 06:05 AM

                    Yes fiddleheads are poisonous, the later you get them in the season, the more dangerous they become.

                    Although it might be a bit overblown (think well done hamburger meat), the official recommendation is to shake them well to remove the scales then boil them for 10 minutes. The water will turn black

                    I stongly recommend you throw them immediatetly into ice water afterwards to keep them green and not overcook them. Afterwards I sauté them with a little butter, salt, pepper and terragon.

                    1. re: ScoobySnacks20
                      eoj May 22, 2007 08:41 AM

                      There is no *known* toxin in fiddleheads, but it's recommended that they be cooked fully to avoid potential illness which may be caused by something occurring naturally in them that is broken down in the cooking process. Here's what Health Canada has to say about fiddleheads.

                      http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/...

                      1. re: eoj
                        s
                        spazita May 22, 2007 08:52 AM

                        There are all different types of ferns out there. That's what a fiddlehead is, an undeveloped fern. I'm pretty sure there is only 1 type which is eaten as a fiddlhead, just like there are only certain types of mushrooms which are edible. I would be careful what you eat off the side of the trail. Stick with the reputable retailers, unless you are a fern expert!

                        1. re: spazita
                          a
                          andrewm May 22, 2007 10:47 AM

                          I agree, I wouldn't go eating stuff out of the woods unless I knew what I was doing (I don't). One has to be able to recognize an ostrich fern, I believe. And if you were to actually go picking, it's important to pick only a few heads per plant. Picking more kills the plant for good.

                          1. re: andrewm
                            c
                            celfie May 22, 2007 01:19 PM

                            i suggest you all wikipedia fiddleheads

                          2. re: spazita
                            eoj May 23, 2007 09:27 AM

                            Using the term "fiddlehead" in the sphere of food, necessarily refers to the ostrich fern, which is edible. I was clarifying on the debate over whether or not they were poisonous if cooked incorrectly, not suggesting that any immature fern would be safe if cooked sufficiently. Picking your own wild food is a whole different issue.

                2. e
                  emerilcantcook May 10, 2008 07:10 PM

                  I was out of town for a while, so not sure if everyone and their mother already knew about this but fiddleheads are here. Saw some at Chez Louis for $6.99 a pound today; and the tiny little booth with tiny little veggies on the mid row of Jean Talon had tiny little paniers for 3 bucks. Reservoir also had them in their brunch menu, unfortunately as a part of a somewhat boring omelette (in which eggs and cheese sucked the vibrancy out of the little beasts). Can't wait to see them to incorporate the curlies into some eggs/lardon dish in the upcoming weeks (like they did last year). So if you were waiting for them, rush... before they turn into ferns.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: emerilcantcook
                    carswell May 10, 2008 09:30 PM

                    Did you ask about provenance? The fiddleheads I encountered earlier this week came from New Jersey. To be honest, the difference between them and the local product is not so apparent as with, say, asparagus. But still. YMMV.

                    1. re: carswell
                      e
                      emerilcantcook May 10, 2008 10:20 PM

                      Nope, I didn't ask since I naively assumed they would be local; but good call.

                      1. re: emerilcantcook
                        SnackHappy May 11, 2008 09:28 AM

                        Last year, I saw some fiddleheads at Chez Louis when it was way too early in the season for Quebec or New-Brunswick fiddleheads and when I asked if they were from Quebec, the owner said of course they were. I had my doubts so I inquired of other greengrocers and they all said there were no Quebec fiddleheads yet to be found even if price was no object.

                        Just saying.

                        1. re: emerilcantcook
                          cherylmtl May 11, 2008 05:50 PM

                          This week's ad (at least for Metro) specifies their fiddleheads as Quebec produce. So even if they weren't before, they should be local as of now.

                    2. e
                      emerilcantcook May 13, 2008 08:50 AM

                      Not high end, but another menu sighting: Soupesoup's (the one on Duluth) chalkboard menu had a fiddlehead salad yesterday.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: emerilcantcook
                        afoodyear May 13, 2008 05:47 PM

                        Thanks for the heads up! I'll have to check that one out.

                      Show Hidden Posts