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Bracken Tops

Vegetables
Historic

The tips of the unfurled fronds of young ferns have been plain-boiled and eaten like asparagus, known from 'Food in England' by Dorothy Hartley (Hartley 1954). This practice is now rare or extinct in England, but commonplace in Canada and New England where they are known as 'fiddleheads'.


Fiddleheads for sale in North America
Image: http://summertomato.com/


Our correspondent Kathryn Marsh reports (21/02/2016) that; "I’m beginning to wonder if there was something odd and archaic about my family - we always ate these for a few weeks in spring. And at Easter we always stayed in a caravan on a farm in Pateley Bridge where the farmer and his wife ate them. They were occasionally to be seen in season on market stalls in York and Ripon in the 1950s. And I remember my father saying he’d seen them in Nottingham market during WW2. Where he also used to buy blewits in season - about three times the price of the then expensive cultivated mushrooms."


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