I ate ferns

yum or ick. your call.

So, I’m not quite on vacation yet. I’m not in New York and I’m not where I’m supposed to be right now (Santa Fe). I’m sitting in the Albuquerque airport waiting for a shuttle to take me to Santa Fe. I was supposed to be there several hours ago but am a complete idiot and slept through my flight!!!! I had a 7:30am flight out of New York thinking I would have no problem getting up-I love early flights and am always popping right out of bed when I need to. Not this morning…I woke up at 6:45 and there was no way I was going to make it. After lots of tears and LOTS of swearing and me screaming irrational crap to the Continental rep, I made it, but I’m not quite there. I’m on my way to Santa Fe and Taos for a week with my family celebrating my Dad’s 60th birthday (happy birthday!), and we were all supposed to be on the same connecting flight from Houston to Albuquerque, but I obviously didn’t make it. And while my family is currently enjoying margaritas in Santa Fe, I’m passing time in the Albuquerque airport by blogging (good job Albuquerque airport on having free wireless!). Ugh. What a way to mess up a family trip Betsy!

I have a about 25 minutes till I need to meet my shuttle to I’ll pump out my new crazy market veg post of the week! Fiddlehead ferns. I feel like I was on a tricycle last week with my sunchoke and went to compete in the Tour de France with the fiddleheads. But, I saw a jar of them sitting at a stand last week and just knew I had to try them. They were crazy cheap and only available for a very short time so my window was closing. I bought about $.20 worth (about 8 ferns) and went on my way.


Fiddlehead ferns are very young ferns that haven’t opened yet. When a fern emerges from the ground, it is coiled tightly and slowly uncurls to develop lots of leaves (yeah-I took a lot of botany classes in college). It’s at this early stage that they are edible and quite popular. At least they’re popular in the crazy native food eating circle. Actually, I’ve eaten them before but have never considered buying them so it was still adventurous. I cooked some up once at camp when I was a counselor. I actually think we fried them in about 1/2 inch of oil. Talk about turning something healthy into something unhealthy! But they were darn tasty. So, I was off to try them again.


I did my research all week to find out how best to cook them and just decided to make them plain, kinda like I did with the sunchoke. I did read that they need to be cooked entirely or they can cause stomach pain. Being the slightly paranoid cook, that freaked me out a little so I cooked them twice. I first cleaned them very well and trimmed off the brown bits. I then boiled them for about 4 minutes to kill any possibility of causing my stomach to be angry. I followed that with a quick saute in a tiny bit of olive oil along with salt and pepper. And went on to eat them. Truthfully, I was nervous. After reading about toxins and pain and this and that, I was freaked. But, then I remembered that yeah, I’d eaten them before and had lived to tell about it, so I dug in. I was expecting the flavor to be kinda a generic grassy green flavor. But, it was definitely distinctive. Kinda green beany. Kinda asparagusy. But definitely distinctive. I actually ate them really fast! They were pretty tasty just popping them into my mouth. And no stomach pain. Would I buy them again? Maybe, if they were really cheap again and I found some great recipe to use them in.

Sorry this post is kinda uninteresting. I don’t have time to make it funny or witty. And also I’m pretty physically and emotionally exhausted from this crazy day. Booo early flights and alarm clocks. Yay fiddleheads and Santa Fe!!

Oh, I got tagged by lots of people this week!!! I’m going to get on that soon…although that might not happen till next week.

So, I’m off till next Sunday. I might post a little mid-week “hi” but don’t hold your breath. Cause then you might stop breathing.


10 Responses to “I ate ferns”

  1. 1 VeggieGirl May 25, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Ferns are quite bizarre-looking, haha.

  2. 2 Cara May 25, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I was 1 minute away from missing check in on Friday at the airport. I understand the swearing for sure….

    I hope you have fun!

  3. 3 Alice (in Veganland) May 26, 2008 at 3:22 am

    Arghh, sorry you missed your flight… But you’ll be there soon, don’t worry!

    I have never even SEEN fiddlehead ferns, but they look like rolled asparagus!

  4. 4 glidingcalm May 26, 2008 at 8:40 am

    whoa! those are funky! can’t say i’ve ever seen those before… they don’t actually look like they’d be very tasty….but I’ll take your word for it…and possibly by them….though I’d probably go for a more familiar veggie first!! haha Thanks for the review though Betsy!

  5. 5 lindzakins921 May 26, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Hope you have a great family vacation… not to worry, I’m sure the vacation truly won’t start til you get there with your fam!

  6. 6 Lisa in CA May 28, 2008 at 5:19 am

    Totally didn’t know what those things were and I thought you had coiled them like that for the sake of aesthetics. I’m going to have to look for them at my farmer’s market…

    Hope you’re having fun!!

  7. 7 arielle May 28, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Sorry. I have to say it. They look like snails. But I’m glad you liked them. And I hope you’re having fun on your vacation.

  8. 8 chandra May 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    They are very scary looking… sorry about your travel challenges, but I hope you’re enjoying vacation!!

  9. 9 Heather May 29, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Those ferns look yummy- but you are a brave girl for trying them! I might have to search for those next time at the farmer’s market.

    Hope you’re having fun on vaca 🙂

  10. 10 Julz June 1, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Bets!! I love how open-minded you are! And those Ferns are the CUTEST and COOLEST looking vegetables I’ve ever seen! They are not too commonly found/consumed, right? I have NEVER seen them before… At least, not that I am aware of! For some reason I imagined Ferns looking like Fennel Frawns or something of the sort. Very cool though 🙂

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