Fiddlehead ferns are one of the most unique vegetables that you will come across in your kitchen. These ferns are harvested during their early stages of growth and are known for their distinct spiral shape.
But what really sets these tasty coils apart from other greens? The answer might be unexpected for some home chefs, it's actually that they have very unique coloring! Read on to learn more about the different colors of fiddlehead ferns and why they aren't always fully green, but considered 'rainbow' -- and still perfectly yummy to eat.
Why aren't my fiddlehead ferns completely green?
Contrary to common belief, fiddleheads are not always perfectly green! A lot of our customers have asked about this, so we wanted to share this in-depth overview of why fiddleheads take on different colors and what these colors mean.
Fiddleheads actually undergo a very unique and special natural growth process that involves a range of colors. At the beginning of the fiddlehead season, which typically starts in mid-March and lasts for about two months, fiddleheads display a range of colors. Which includes their usual shades of green, along with reddish and brownish tints. This is commonly referred to as the 'rainbow' stage of the fiddlehead.
Can I eat fiddlehead ferns in their 'rainbow' stage?
Yes! Some people might think that the colors indicate that the fiddleheads are not ripe or are not safe to eat, but that's not the case. The flavor and texture of the fiddleheads remain the same during this stage, and as the season progresses, they become more green in color. In fact, fiddleheads in the rainbow stage are just as delicious and versatile in the kitchen as their fully green counterparts.
How should I prepare my fiddlehead ferns?
One of the best ways to prepare fiddleheads is to sauté them in a pan with garlic and butter. The unique texture of the fiddlehead provides a satisfying crunch, and the garlic and butter enhance their natural flavor. Fiddleheads also work well in salads, soups, and stir-fries, and they can be used as a side dish or incorporated into main courses.
Why should I try fiddlehead ferns?
Aside from their delicious taste, fiddleheads also offer a range of health benefits. They are a great source of vitamins A and C, iron, and potassium, making them an excellent addition to a well-rounded diet.
In conclusion, fiddlehead ferns are a unique and versatile vegetable that should be appreciated for their distinct coloring and delicious taste. Don't be afraid to try them in their rainbow stage, as they will perform just as well in the kitchen as their fully green counterparts. So the next time you come across these spiral-shaped wonders at your local farmers' market or grocery store, be sure to pick some up and try them out in your favorite recipes. Shop our farm fresh produce to see if we have fiddlehead ferns in stock, along with all of the other in-season farm fresh fruits and veggies that we carry from local CA farmers!