These tightly wound button-like parts of the fern are a sight to be seen. Fiddleheads are light green with fuzzy scales. They are crunchy but have a gelatin-like flesh with an earthy flavor and a mineral finish when raw. Cooking significantly reduces the mineral flavor and a pine nut/artichoke type flavor emerges in its place. If they are no longer rigid and are becoming gummy, then they are no longer edible.
Looking for a spring appetizer that will turn heads? These tarts are just the thing. Steaming or boiling them is an option, but if you like your fiddleheads crunchy, this may not be your favorite way to prepare them. If you sauté them without water, they will hold their crunch much better.
Fiddleheads are available from April to late May. As mentioned before, they emerge in the swamps and marshes of Canada and the eastern United States.
They will last up to a week in your fridge. Since they have such a short season, you’ll want to freeze your fiddleheads if you want them to last longer, and here’s how to freeze them.