fiddlehead fern

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This is a debatable plant. Must eat cooked or steamed, not raw, although some people do eat fiddleheads raw and end up getting throat and gastric cancers. Fiddleheads are the young furled (coiled up) heads of a young fern. Asians dip them into boiling water, then dry them and then grind them into powder, and whenever they cook food, they add that powder to their food. Apparently it helps emulsify and break down bad fats in the body. You can chop up the stem and steam it, tastes similar to green beans, can be eaten with a little bit of butter and salt. To cook fiddleheads, remove the yellow/brown skin, then boil the sprouts twice with a change of water between boilings to remove toxins. The roots of the common Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas), was used to kill tapeworms, but many consider it too toxic. When using ferns, consult with local expert to double check. Some are carcinogenic.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
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In the fiddlehead stage, these two large rosette ferns are often confused with ostrich fern.
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