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Kids at cooking school in Vaughan Ontario, Petits Chefs Academy, are no fiddleheads
July 17, 2012

Kids at cooking school in Vaughan Ontario, Petits Chefs Academy, are no fiddleheads

July 16, 2012

By:  Denise K. Livotti – www.PetitsChefsAcademy.com

The kids at the cooking school in Vaughan Ontario, Petits Chefs Academy, made and ate, for the very first time, in their young lives, fiddleheads.

Do you know what fiddleheads are? 

Fiddlehead is the name given to the coiled frond of a young fern that has been harvested at its young stage of growth considered as a vegetable.  They’re a non-flowering vascular plant, that when left would unroll into a new frond, which in Latin is called circinate vernation, say that a few times over.

Fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height, cut fairly close to the ground.

Properties, Texture and Components

The texture is crunchy and succulent, an excellent source of vitamins A and many minerals.  They have antioxidant properties and are a source of Omega 3 and Omega 6, great brain food for our growing Petits Chefs.  They’re high in iron and fiber, great components in absorbing toxins and removing junk from the trunk, out of your intestines.

Fiddleheads were considered to be medicinal as well as a foodstuff and were gathered in quantity during the relatively brief season before they’d unfurl.

Where does it grow?

Wild throughout North America, from British Columbia to Northeastern Canadian Provinces and Northeastern United States, we’re lucky to have an abundant supply of this super food.

The Canadian village of Tide Head, New Brunswick, bills itself as the “Fiddlehead Capital of the World”.

How to cook them…

It is advised to remove the yellow/brown skin first and then we let our Petits Chefs at our cooking camp experiment.

Fiddleheads should be cooked thoroughly before eating.  The cooking time recommended is 15 minutes if boiled and 10 to 12 minutes if steamed.  The cooking method recommended by gourmets is to spread a thin layer in a steam basket and steam lightly, just until tender crisp.

And this is exactly what our kids did, steamed the fiddleheads.  They each took a couple of sprouts smelling, feeling and tasting.  That didn’t go down to well; they didn’t like it plain like that.  They said that it kind of reminded them of asparagus but more bitter.  So to jazz it up we had them sauté garlic in olive oil, a dab of butter and tossed the fiddleheads lightly into the sauté and added kosher salt.

Presto they gobbled it up in no time.  They know a good thing when they see and taste one.  Our kids are sure NO fiddleheads.

Amazed Reactions

A mother walked in amazed to see her sons eating fiddleheads.

What can we say, we’re the cooking school for kids and families in Vaughan, Ontario, opening up new doors and empowering children with life skills and the appreciation to all foods, where it comes from, how to cook them, simply and nutritionally and to really appreciate and savor them.  It was a great day at Petits Chefs Academy summer cooking camp 2012.

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