Re: [Apicius] Ferns
- In a message dated 4/7/00 1:11:42 PM Eastern Daylight Time, correus@...
are to known to have existed in their area
during their time.
I really don't know why they wouldn't have eaten them but Fiddle Head ferns
are a distinct species which are edible. I have never eaten other ferns and
have not seen any references which suggest that others can be eaten. I know
of no source which says that the Romans ate them and, more importantly, I
don't know what ferns were common at that time.
Below is all the info I had time to find. I will try to do a more
comprehensive web search this weekend to find a commercial source.
A young, edible, tightly coiled fern frond that resembles the spiral end of a
violin (fiddle). It is also referred to as ostrich fern and pohole. The
shoots are in their coiled form for only about 2 weeks before they unfurl
into graceful greenery. Fiddlehead ferns are a rich, deep green color and are
about 2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. They have a flavor akin to
an asparagus-green bean-okra cross and a texture that's appealingly chewy.
Fiddleheads can be found throughout the eastern half of the United States,
ranging from as far south as Virginia north to Canada. They're available in
specialty produce markets from April through July, depending on the region.
Choose small, firm, brightly colored ferns with no sign of
softness or yellowing. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, for no more than 2 days.
Fiddleheads should be washed and the ends trimmed before being briefly cooked
by steaming, simmering or sauteing. They may be served cooked as a first
course or side dish or used raw in salads. Fiddlehead ferns are a good source
of vitamins An and C.