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Jun 8, 2009 01:14 PM

Fiddlehead Ferns

I had some flash-seared fiddleheads a while back that were lovely- crisp and tasting of spring. I know that they are more readily available in the Northeast, but does anyone know if/where you can get them around San Francisco?

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  1. I usually see them (flown in from New England) at the Berkeley Bowl in season, which might be over for this year.

    1. I saw them 2 weeks ago in the Ferry Building, at some store that specializes in mushrooms...

      Ah yes, it had to be Far West Fungi.

      Far West Fungi
      1 Ferry Bldg # 34, San Francisco, CA

      1. Ditto Reignking - Far West Fungi in the Ferry Building still had a basket of them a couple of days ago. They looked quite fresh.

        1. Saw them at Rainbow Grocery last Thursday. Looked very good, perhaps the best of the season.

          1 Reply
          1. re: SteveG

            Thanks for all the sightings and store suggestions. I'll probably swing by Rainbow as I won't be near the Ferry Building this week.

          2. I have to share this funny story: Many years ago we were driving to dinner in Manhattan with three New Yorkers, one of whom was a sometimes cookbook writer. I asked whether or not it was worth going all the way to--I forget whether it was Dean and Deluca or Balducci's; the writer said it was a place to find such delicacies as fiddlehead ferns. In all innocence and candor I responded, "Oh, I can get those at my neighborhood Safeway (Marina, which was at the time the only place I'd ever seen them). To this day--if she's still alive--she thinks I'm a pathological liar: I never saw such a look on anyone's face!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Fine

              springtime availability in shaw's and alexander's in new hampshire. now that we're out here on the left coast i've yet to see them. saute in butter is my favorite.

              1. re: Fine

                New Yorkers are so used to thinking of themselves as the best of everything, when presented with information like Safeway carrying fiddleheads it's too far outside their frame of thinking to be credible. There's serious denial about the state of produce in NYC.

                Also, for some reason people from the northeast think fiddleheads only grow there, which is not true. Fiddleheads are picked from a variety of fern species, many of which grow very happily in the cascade mountains of the west, and that explains why west-coast foraged products companies now distribute fiddleheads pretty widely.