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looking for Ontario Fiddleheads

mattdobbin May 7, 2009 07:40 AM

Are they out yet? Does St. Lawrence Market have them? I am hoping to make a run to the north market this weekend.

  1. w
    wontonfm May 10, 2009 08:05 AM

    I bought some at Whole Foods yesterday. They were about 7-7.50/lb and came loose or pre-bagged (although if you wanted less I'm sure Whole Foods would let you open the bags and take your quantity - the bags aren't priced).

    I made them for dinner last night and followed the direction of boiling for 10 mins which seemed like a lot of time. Then I sauteed i oil and garlic. yum.

    photos here:


    1. t
      Tatai May 8, 2009 04:40 PM

      The Healthy Butcher on Eglinton has fiddleheads, ramps and asparagus, all local (and the asparagus are organic).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tatai
        1sweetpea May 8, 2009 04:58 PM

        I just found some today at Zehrs/Loblaws in Windsor. They had arrived this morning and the small display had been ravaged by 10:00 am! I cleaned them out completely. I hope they get more before the season is completely done. I wouldn't mind a second crack at them. We ate them for dinner tonight. They were fantastic! They are a bit of a chore to prepare, though (soaking, rinsing, trimming, parboiling/blanching, then finishing in a pan).

      2. jayt90 May 8, 2009 04:20 PM

        Metro on Whites Road has them, cheaper than most places, at $5/lb.

        1. z
          zoohort2 May 8, 2009 03:39 PM

          Bruno's on Avenue Road has them.

          Bruno's Fine Foods
          2055 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: zoohort2
            EarlyDrive May 8, 2009 04:04 PM

            Further to toothpicvics post above, Forbes will also be at Green Barn Farmers' Market (79 Wychwood Avenue) tomorrow with ramps and fiddleheads. 9-1, I think

          2. s
            snackboy May 8, 2009 01:36 PM

            I just saw some at Pusateri's on Church street and they looked beautiful...


            1. Ediblethoughts May 8, 2009 10:36 AM

              Just saw them at Whole Foods (Yorkville location).

              1. d
                DUH CAR May 8, 2009 08:24 AM

                Just bought some at local ValueMart on Underhill at $4.99/lb.

                1. pinstripeprincess May 8, 2009 05:32 AM

                  saw them at loblaws broadview location and in the kensington grocer shops. specifically the one across from the corner coffee shop... yes.. that was quite descriptive.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: pinstripeprincess
                    Kasia May 8, 2009 08:27 AM

                    on a related note, i had the fiddleheads appetizer at pizzeria lebretto last night - yummy! the fiddleheads was nice and crunchy, cooked with delicious pancetta and olive oil. my only quibble was that the serving was a bit small for two to share, as we did.

                    can i ask those who cook fiddleheads at home (i've only eaten them at restaurants), do they change flavour later in the season ie. become bitter as they get bigger? the ones last night were pretty small, i remember seeing much larger ones in the markets last summer. i wonder if there is a taste difference as they grow.

                    1. re: Kasia
                      1sweetpea May 8, 2009 08:41 AM

                      The season really only lasts about 2 weeks, so I don't imagine that they'll get a lot larger between now and the middle of the month, but an extra week in the ground will increase their size somewhat. I bought some today that were a mix of small and medium sizes. The larger ones can be a bit more tough and bitter.

                      1. re: Kasia
                        Tatai May 8, 2009 08:42 AM

                        Kasia, there's a very short window during which fiddleheads are edible. Once they start to unfurl from their tight coil, they are no longer fit for consumption. I would imagine that the size of an actual fiddlehead might depend on the age of the ostrich fern from which it was cut and possibly by climactic conditions. (Don't quote me on this, though.)

                        The fiddleheads on the ostrich ferns in my garden were very small and it's amazing how fast the plants grow and the fiddleheads unfurl. Quite beautiful, too! The "season" is over in my garden.

                        1. re: Tatai
                          Nyleve May 8, 2009 09:02 AM

                          Some plants produce big, juicy fiddleheads, others send up smaller, thinner ones. It's a little like asparagus. The shoot itself doesn't fatten up as it grows - it just gets taller, then, as Tatai said, they unfurl and you can't eat them. I suspect the size of the fiddlehead sprout depends entirely on the plant and the environment in which it's growing.

                    2. JonasBrand May 7, 2009 07:10 PM

                      Loblaws on Queens Quay had some.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JonasBrand
                        berbere May 7, 2009 07:51 PM

                        also saw fiddleheads at highland farms on ellesmere/kennedy

                      2. g
                        gimel May 7, 2009 07:08 PM

                        Fortinos at Lawrence & Dufferin had fiddleheads today for $4.99/lb, no idea if they were from Ontario, however.

                        1. The Chowhound Team May 7, 2009 12:22 PM

                          We split some discussion of how to prepare fiddleheads into a new discussion on the Home Cooking board. You can find that topic here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/618059

                          Please keep this topic focused on where to find them in the Ontario area.


                          1. z
                            zoe3654 May 7, 2009 12:00 PM

                            I was poisoned by these last year, mildly but queasy for two weeks. I cleaned them well. Not feeling it this year. They're wild and all but they're actually not that delicious, really.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: zoe3654
                              DrewStar May 7, 2009 12:37 PM

                              Yeah I hear what you're saying. I do like them, but felt unwell after buying some in the past, at the SLM on 2 separate occasions. Same symptoms -- upset stomach for a couple of days.

                            2. f
                              fluffysouffle May 7, 2009 10:00 AM

                              I just cleaned out the St. Jamestown Deli today of them. It's a great deli on Parliament at Winchester that also carries some fresh produce. I just lucked out and found them there. Going out this weekend to find more elsewhere.

                              Anyone know about how long we have until the season is over?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: fluffysouffle
                                Tatai May 7, 2009 10:02 AM

                                Unfortunately, the season is only about 2 weeks long. Supplies will last depending on where they're being harvested.

                              2. jlunar May 7, 2009 08:30 AM

                                I can't remember if SLM North had it, but I think South did during my visit last weekend. And so did Longo's and Yorkmills and Leslie and the Loblaws on Queen's Quay. (I'd call the loblaws though, I might be making that one up...)

                                http://www.foodpr0n.com - food. is. love.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jlunar
                                  tjr May 7, 2009 08:40 AM

                                  You can definitely get them at SLM; there were at least two vendors selling them on Tuesday, I believe for $7.99/lb.

                                  1. re: tjr
                                    jgloverwork May 7, 2009 08:56 AM

                                    TJR is correct. The veggie vendor on the lower floor has had them for over a week at $7.99 a pound, and now the two on the main floor at the North doors also now have them on display at the same price. Ramps are also in at all at $1.99 a bunch.

                                2. t
                                  Tatai May 7, 2009 08:02 AM

                                  Mark Trealout of Kawartha Ecological Growers has fiddleheads. He's selling them at the AppleTree Market on Thursday afternoons and at the Green Barn Market on Saturday mornings. He also has ramps and trout lily leaves (which are foraged and delicious; sweet at first with a slightly peppery finish; lovely served raw in a salad).

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Tatai
                                    Nyleve May 7, 2009 06:05 PM

                                    Seriously - you can eat trout lily leaves? I had NO idea. There are zillions of them!

                                    1. re: Nyleve
                                      Tatai May 7, 2009 07:09 PM

                                      I did eat them -- raw -- and loved them, although some online sites say they should be cooked as they can be toxic if eaten raw, while other sites say they're great eaten raw in salads. Is there anyone out there who can definitively say that they're safe to eat raw? (My family and I ate them about 10 days ago with no ill effects.)

                                      1. re: Tatai
                                        Nyleve May 8, 2009 07:11 AM

                                        I think it might be one of those things where you have a range of tolerance for the stuff. As much as I love fiddleheads cooked, I can't imagine eating them raw - they're too, I don't know, furry I guess.

                                        1. re: Nyleve
                                          Tatai May 8, 2009 08:09 AM

                                          I know how you feel -- and the texture would probably be sort of like chewing grasshoppers, no? ;-)

                                          1. re: Tatai
                                            tjr May 8, 2009 08:21 AM

                                            Mmm... grasshoppers.

                                            1. re: Tatai
                                              Nyleve May 8, 2009 08:59 AM

                                              I've never tried grasshoppers. If they're furry, I'm not interested.

                                    2. t
                                      toothpicvic May 7, 2009 07:57 AM

                                      i was forwarded an email sent from the dufferin grove market:

                                      Forbes Wild Foods is very pleased to announce that we will be bringing fresh Wild Fiddleheads and Wild Leeks to the market!
                                      The Fiddleheads (which are wild, not cultivated) were sustainably harvested from Springwater Township, which is less than 100 miles from Toronto.
                                      The Wild Leeks were sustainably harvested by a First Nations group in the Georgian Bay area, also within 100 miles of Toronto.
                                      We’ll be selling the Fiddleheads for $7 / lb, and the Wild Leeks for $10 / lb. If anyone is interested in placing an order in advance, they can either email us (mlynch@wildfoods.ca) or give us a call (416-927-9106) and we can put their order together to be picked up at the market. We will also have both of these items at next week’s market (May 14th), if someone can’t make it down this time.

                                      hope that helps a bit.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: toothpicvic
                                        jamesm May 7, 2009 07:59 AM

                                        Kos on Roncesvalles has fiddleheads and ramps right now, in addition to their always awesome produce selection. One of the best spots in the city in my opinion.

                                      2. HarryLloyd May 7, 2009 07:56 AM

                                        yes. dont know.


                                        1. c
                                          CoffeeAddict416 May 7, 2009 07:43 AM

                                          I haven't seen them yet
                                          I wanna forage for them! Haven't done that since I was a youngin with my grandma

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