Plant World

Plant Diversity

What is a fiddlehead and how are they used in cooking?

Prior to the invention of flashbulbs, photographers used flash powder that consisted almost entirely of dried spores from club mosses of the genus Lycopodium.

The type of fern typically grown as a houseplant is of the diploid, or sporophyte, generation. It is composed of a rhizome, an underground stem that occurs horizontally, which produces roots and leaves called fronds. As each young frond first emerges from the ground, it is tightly coiled and resembles the top of a violin, hence the name fiddlehead. Fiddleheads have a chewy texture and a flavor that is a cross between asparagus, green beans, and okra. They may be cooked by steaming, simmering, or sautéing, and they are typically served as a side dish. The young fern shoots may also be served raw in salads.


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