Time for love, flowering trees and fern cancer!
Eating fiddlehead ferns in Spring is just like smoking,
only more delicious.
Available only for three weeks in May, fiddleheads contain ptalquiloside, a carcinogenic toxin identified in 1983.
In testing, the data was very clear that eating the fern causes lesions on the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
Cows eat the young fronds and develop bladder cancer.
Humans show an increase in gastric and oesophageal cancers in fern-rich areas that leach into the ground water.
But the carcinogenic properties are greatly reduced through boiling, so let’s put some water on and live dangerously.
Wash them well under cold, running water and float off the papery brown chaff.
Some reports suggest boiling them for 12-15 minutes. Others say five minutes is plenty.
I boiled these for about 5 minutes, then stopped the cooking in a cold water bath.
The rest is simple, hot butter...
Salt and pepper, keep them moving, squeeze of lemon!
Like asparagus. Only weirder.