|TITLE||FOUGÈRE #1 / Fiddleheads|
fougère is a sweet, tender green vegetable. It's anglicized name
is 'fiddleheads'. It is basically a fern... not just any fern but a very
special fern found growing in areas close to rivers. As part of this, I
hope that someone who is familiar with this species of ferm will share
advice with us as to where to look for these fern and how to tell the difference
between these fern and other types of fern which are not edible. (This
is a big, non-subtle hint to my brother-in-law, Jim Ouellette who is an
expert on picking 'fiddleheads'. And also, whether this is an Acadian dish
or French-Canadian dish. And I wonder whether the Cajuns have something
Fougère is picked in late spring when they are just starting to come out but have not yet unfurled. The fougère must be cleaned of course before it is cooked. There usually are paper-thin coverings on the closely rolled 'fiddlehead' that must be taken off. Fougère is preserved either by freezing or canning.
This recipe is one from the Madawaska Historial Society's REUNION FAMILIES' FAVORITE RECIPES. Copies of the cookbook may be ordered directly from the Historical Society, Madawaska, Maine 04756. This recipe is a Pelletier Family Reunion recipe which comes from Geraldine P. Chasse.
spring of the year and located along rivers and brooks, gather tender (3
to 4-inches from the ground) fiddleheads. Clean; remove all brown skins
and twigs (I usually sit in a windy spot where the debris will easily fly
away). Wash several times, until the water is no longer brown or floating
with brown skins.
In a cooking pot, precook small pieces of diced salt pork and set aside. In another pot, blanch fiddleheads and then add to the salt pork mixture. Cook slowly until soft and light green in color. Serve with vinegar or just butter and salt and pepper.
Dandelion greens can also be cooked in this fashion.
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