Where to pick fiddleheads in New Brunswick

Fiddleheads are only available fresh in the wild every few years, and you have a small window of time to find them before they get too tough. And the cultivation of fiddleheads is not yet widespread enough to provide a consistent crop year-round.

That’s why we’ve put together this post all about where to go on your adventure for fresh fiddleheads in New Brunswick, complete with info on when they grow, where they grow best, how to pick them, and how to cook them. Our hope is that you enjoy our tips as much as we enjoyed researching and writing them!

Where to pick fiddleheads in New Brunswick

The full extent of the New Brunswick fiddlehead season is still not well understood. As this information is gathered, we’ll update this post. Besides the tips below, we’ve also pasted in an old article from The Telegraph Journal that gives a bit more detail.

Our best advice right now is to be on the lookout as soon as snowmelt begins and keep your eyes peeled until at least mid-May. On the earlier end, you might start looking by mid-April in milder areas with high elevation and northernly locations. As you get further south and into the Maritime Provinces, you might look as early as mid-March.

Fiddleheads are also called “fern fronds” which is what they look like when they are young, before they have grown beyond their stage of fiddlehead youth. Fiddleheads in the wild will grow from late March to early May on average, and may be found in any locality except where there has been heavy frost or other blights. The most dependable place to find fiddleheads that have just begun their growth is along rivers and streams behind the waterfall’s edge during March and April.

What are fiddleheads used for?
The fiddlehead is a member of the onion family, along with the green onion, which provides us with scallions. While fiddlehead is often used as an alternative to green onions, fiddleheads do not grow true to type. To be clear, the fiddlehead does not have any strong onion flavor and can be eaten in moderation without upsetting your taste buds. It is most commonly used as a garnish on top of things like casseroles, stews and soups.

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