Maine Foods for May- Fiddleheads and Rhubarb

picked fiddleheadsFiddleheads and Rhubarb: Maine Foods For May

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has investigated a number of outbreaks of food-borne illness associated with fiddleheads. The implicated ferns were eaten either raw or lightly cooked (sautéed, parboiled or microwaved).   The findings of this investigation recommend that you should cook fiddleheads thoroughly before eating (boil them for at least 15 minutes or steam for 10 – 12 minutes).

Extension Educator Kathy Savoie from the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office cautions that you should get up-to-date information if you are planning on canning food. Over the years there have been changes in scientific expertise as well as canning equipment, so there is new information on the best methods, canners, jars, and seals to use to ensure a safe result. Updated recommendations are as close as your local UMaine Extension office: visit or call 800-287-0274 to find an office near you.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension publishes information to help you find, grow, use, preserve and store in-season fruits and vegetables in Maine. Visit to order or download bulletins to fit the season, including May favorites such as Facts on Fiddleheads, Facts on Edible Wild Greens in Maine, and Fruits for Health: Rhubarb.