“For millennia, people have gathered wild foods in the Maritimes. Many continue to do so from tapping maple trees in late winter, to picking fiddleheads in early spring, and later collecting goosetongue greens then samphire greens on the marshes. People gather wild food for fresh eating and “put up” more food by pickling, drying, bottling or freezing. Berries are made into jam and jelly. Plants, such as Labrador tea, wintergreen and sumac, are dried for use in teas. Wild mushrooms, particularly chanterelles, are dried or enjoyed fresh in the summer and fall.”
1 lb fiddleheads, washed &
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
3 Tbsp butter
4 cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
½ tsp dried tarragon
½ tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried chervil
1 tsp dried parsley
- Cook fiddleheads and potatoes in water until tender.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan and whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in 2 cups milk and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, whisking often.
- Place cooked potatoes and fiddleheads in a blender with their cooking liquid and purée.
Return to large saucepan, add sauce, remaining milk, cream, salt, pepper and herbs, Reheat, being careful not to boil mixture. Stir with wooden spoon.
Mi’kmaq Mama’s fiddleheads
1 bunch freshly harvested
1 pot boiling water
1 Tbsp butter
1 splash lemon juice
- Wash the fiddleheads in water for several minutes. If you're using a bowl of water, change the water several times.
- Bring a pot of boiling water to a boil. Add the clean fiddleheads to the water. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Drain the fiddleheads. Place them on a plate and enjoy them with your favourite flavours. I prefer butter and lemon juice; others prefer vinegar.
Cheyenne Joseph, www.mikmaqmama.com
The Albert County Museum cookbook, Fiddleheads, Fricot & Frittata: A Hodgepodge of Atlantic Canadian Recipes is at the printers! Only $8 (including tax) for 200+ recipes, as well as stories about the people and foods of Atlantic Canada. Order 10 copies and get one free! Order now at albertcountymuseum.com/cookbook. The book will be available at the museum gift shop by June 1st.
Learn more about picking fiddleheads at www.connectingalbertcounty.org/environment
Picture by Deborah Carr