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– Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)
– Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
– Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina)
Cinnamon fern or buckhorn fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
– Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)

**Sources and Harvesting:**
– Fiddleheads are foraged and commercially harvested in spring
– Recommended to take only one third of the tops per plant for sustainable harvest
– Each plant produces several tops that turn into fronds

**Culinary Uses:**
– Traditional in Northern France, Asia, and among Native Americans
– Eaten in Russian Far East after preservation in salt
– Used in Indonesian dish gulai pakis, Filipino dish pakô, and in East Asia cuisine

**Asian Cuisine:**
– Indonesia: gulai pakis dish
– Philippines: pakô salad
– Japan: kogomi, Korea: gosari, China/Taiwan: juécài
– Korea: gosari-namul, bibimbap, yukgaejang, bindae-tteok
– Japan: zenmai, kogomi, warabimochi dessert

**Indian Cuisine:**
– Tripura: muikhonchok, Manipur: Chekoh
– Himachal Pradesh: Lingad, lingri ka achaar
– Uttarakhand: limbra, languda
– Sikkim: niyuro, West Bengal: dheki shaak
– Assam: dhekia xak, Jammu and Kashmir: kasrod, ted

**Nutritional Information:**
– Fiddleheads are low in sodium and high in potassium
– Some ferns contain thiaminase, which can lead to beriberi if consumed excessively
– Certain fiddlehead varieties like bracken may be toxic and should be fully cooked
– Ostrich fern is not believed to cause cancer but may contain unidentified toxins

**Additional Information:**
– Fiddleheads in Head, New Brunswick
– Head, New Brunswick is known as the Fiddlehead Capital of the World
– Fresh fiddleheads are available for a short period in spring and are pricey
– Pickled and frozen fiddleheads can be bought year-round
– Fiddleheads are commonly cooked by steaming, boiling, or sautéing
– It is recommended to remove the husk, wash thoroughly, and cook for at least 15 minutes to reduce bitterness and toxins

**Cultural and Historical Significance:**
– Māori cuisine
– Māori people traditionally consume young fern shoots known as pikopiko
– Pikopiko can refer to various New Zealand fern species
– Boyi and Shuqi, Chinese princes who survived on a diet of fiddleheads in the wilderness

– Various sources provide information on fiddleheads’ safety, cooking methods, and health implications
– Studies have linked specific fern species to DNA damage and potential carcinogenesis
– Health Canada offers safety tips for consuming fiddleheads
– Research highlights the nutrient composition and potential hazards of eating certain ferns

Fiddlehead (Wikipedia)

Fiddleheads or fiddlehead greens are the furled fronds of a fledgling fern, harvested for use as a vegetable.

Fiddlehead ferns
A chicken dish including fiddleheads
Fiddleheads growing
Fiddlehead sculpture at the Saint John Arts Centre by sculptor Jim Boyd in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond (circinate vernation). As fiddleheads are harvested early in the season, before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut fairly close to the ground.

Fiddleheads from brackens contain a compound associated with bracken toxicity, and thiaminase.

The fiddlehead resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a fiddle. It is also called a crozier, after the curved staff used by bishops, which has its origins in the shepherd's crook.

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