Oh, hello, mysterious item in my produce aisle!

These are not bugs.

When I saw these things at my Whole Foods, I needed them. right?! They’re crazy. They’re called Fiddleheads, but I call them Fiddlejacks, Fiddlesticks, and Fiddlemabob vegetables. My google search history shows proof of this.

I grabbed an appropriate sampling amount, and enjoyed the puzzled look on the face of the cashier as he tried to ring them up. It probably didn’t help that I told him to look up “Fiddlejacks” in his produce listing thing… Luckily, the charming Malaysian bagging fellow has the produce codes for even the most obscure of items memorized. Upon returning to my apartment with the fiddlehoobies proudly in tow and the culinary curiosity flowing in a way it did not when I bought okra a few months ago, I did what any world class chef would do, of course, and turned to Google. I’m pretty sure that without Google, I would be a useless blob of dumb.

So what are these little dudes, how do you cook them, what do they taste like, and should you buy some if you see some? Ah, the questions that plague our minds. 

Fiddlemajings are the tips of ferns which have not yet unrolled. See?


You need to wash and cook (boil or steam for 15 minutes) before you eat/prepare them–word on the google is that people can get sick from eating them raw. 

At this point, you can sort of do whatever you want with them, but cooking them in a pan with salt, pepper, and lemon seemed the safest bet. and look at that, cooked fiddlecrackers! They were actually pretty tasty and interesting. I wish that I hadn’t included lemon, so that I could have tasted the actual fiddlehead flavor a bit more. Google says that they taste like asparagus, but I thought they tasted like artichokes. They were leathery and kind of subtle and nice –definitely not an offensive vegetable in the least. I wish I had bought more!

Will the success of this mysterious produce adventure motivate me to buy more Okra? Oh, who knows–I’d buy fiddlewhatsems again first.

In other news, today I ate a plum. Summer. Is. Coming.


6 Comments to “Oh, hello, mysterious item in my produce aisle!”

  1. Wow! These look interesting. I love trying new things, I’ll have to find these in my local Whole Foods!

  2. LOVE the action colander shot!
    You take such great photos!
    P.S. Do you like jicama? I like it marinated with lemon juice and Tapatio sauce.

  3. My introduction to fiddleheads was Vegan Yum Yum (which seems to have died away, but the archives are full of tasty recipies.)
    I always hear good things about fiddleheads and am curious to try them, and have found them at the store, but something about them makes me nervous. They just look… mushy in the center. And mushy’s got to be my least-favorite sort of food.

  4. This just made me laugh. Thanks Sarah for teaching me something new, AGAIN!

  5. Fiddleheads have been a Rite of Spring for me for many years. I usually just trim the stems, wash, and saute w/out boiling or steaming first. SInce I think most things taste better with garlic, I usually add some to the saute. I’ve never become sick from this preparation.

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