Fiddlehead Fern

While traveling last week in Montreal I paid a visit to the city's Jean-Talon Market district. Though I consider myself fairly well versed in all matters related to the culinary arts, I was surprised to see the intriguing fiddlehead ferns depicted on your left. These are unfurled young ferns that are harvested for use in salads or as accompaniments to dishes such as seafood or poultry.

The fiddlehead ferns are apparently an excellent source of antioxidants, though there are some concerns about the toxicity of some varieties. However, I cannot provide a first-hand report on the taste of the ferns, as the vendor only spoke French and I was not bold enough to stuff a slimy-looking and unknown plants down my gullet. More experienced connoisseurs of the fiddlehead fern may weigh in with a gastronomical opinion in the Comments section of the blog.