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Mike Collins
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 10:10 am 
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Today while biking I happened upon a lady who was non-English speaking gathering the fiddleheads of bracken ferns. Japanese and Korean cuisine include this in their cultural dishes. But hopefully the folks in this forum will be aware of the danger with adding that to their diet. The web will offer recipe preparations that allegedly eliminate the cancer causing risk but I am quite doubtful. Bladder, stomach, and esophageal cancers have an increased incidence with ingestion.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030438941101538X
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 1:13 pm 
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^ I've eaten them steamed, but my opinion of them was that they really weren't worth all the trouble when asparagus was readily available at the supermarket.

Native Americans gathered the roots of the bracken, roasted it, and then pounded it into a "flour" type product to make something which resembled "bread".*

(* source: pers. comm. (phone) Makah Tribal Museum, Neah Bay )
( see also: The Ozette Prairies of Olympic National Park: Their former indigenous uses and management" M. Kat Anderson - Olympic National Park 2009 )

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They also dug the roots of these ferns, pounded them to a pulp, dried the pulp, mixed it into a sort of dough and baked bread from it, which they claim was pretty good bread. Unluckily, the writer appeared on the scene too late to see any of this fern-paste bread…
(Reagan 1934:56).


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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Mike Collins
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 2:12 pm 
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Thank you for the informative link. Erna Gunther in Ethnobotany of Western Washington also mentions the rhizomes (roots) were "intensively used" by a dozen tribes of Washington. She says the tops of the plants, which I would think were the fiddleheads, were eaten raw by the Cowlitz. But my point to take away is that the plant has attendant risks with regards to consumption.
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reststep
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 4:20 pm 
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In Japan they are called warabi わらび

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 5:58 pm 
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or "Pako" in the Philippines or "Poholee on Maui and Ho‘i‘o on Hawaii Island and on Oahu." dizzy.gif

(* not sure whether that site can be considered a credible source as they seem to have confused "fiddleneck" with "fiddlehead". *)

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 9:12 pm 
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In New England and eastern Canada fiddleheads are considered a delicacy and expensive in stores. They eat Ostrich Fern and do not eat bracken the ferns are only edible for a week or so and grow in swampy areas.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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