Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fiddlehead Ferns for Spring Cooking

The first signs of spring are here with fiddlehead ferns beginning to unroll on the west coast. But the season won’t last long… two to three months at most.

Marx Foods, an online specialty food store, sources ferns from foragers in northern California up through Washington—spreading the season out for as long as possible for delivery to restaurant chefs.

“This is a seasonal specialty item that’s pretty exciting to include on spring menus,” said Justin Marx, CEO of “Fiddlehead ferns are an unusual, yet beautiful and delicious way to accent a meal.”

With a flavor resembling a cross between an artichoke and asparagus, if cooked correctly the fiddlehead fern will maintain a vibrant jade green color and crisp texture adding an enchanting accent to the dinner plate.

Marx went on to say, “Fiddleheads are amazing when plated, they add a “wow” factor with their great spiral shape and emerald color.”

With a mild flavor and nutty bite, fiddlehead ferns pair well with pasta, steak, lamb, seafood and poultry. As a side dish, they can fill in for string beans, spinach, artichokes and asparagus or combined with fresh mushrooms make a decadent ragout.

Fiddlehead ferns can be sautéed, stir fried or steamed. If blanched, they should be put in an ice bath to retain their emerald green color.

Other exciting wild produce now in season includes miner’s lettuce, stinging nettles, and watercress. “Wild produce, in general is extremely novel, rare and healthy,” said Marx.

Sustainable harvesting methods are maintained ensuring the plants will remain healthy and continue to produce.

Individual consumers can purchase fiddlehead ferns and other seasonal wild produce, fresh from the mountains, online at Restaurants can order wild produce through North American Import and Export by calling (888) 276-5955.

Marx, headquartered in Seattle, Wash. is an online specialty food company dedicated to bringing the highest quality epicurean products directly to the consumer’s doorstep. For a decade, it has been selling to white tablecloth restaurants nationwide. Items now available to consumers include a variety of truffles, truffle products, game meat, grass-fed beef & veal, sausage, game birds, seafood, sea vegetables, wild produce, oils, grains, seeds and filled pastas. To ensure freshness, most products are shipped via Federal Express overnight.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, special requests are welcome by calling (866) 588-MARX. Not sure what to buy the food lover in your life? Gift certificates are available.

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