ORONO, Maine — University of Maine Cooperative Extension publishes information to help find, grow, use, preserve and store in-season fruits and vegetables in Maine. Visit extension.umaine.edu to order or download bulletins to fit the season, including May favorites, such as Bulletin #4198 “Facts on Fiddleheads,” Bulletin #4060 “Facts on Edible Wild Greens in Maine” and Bulletin #4266 “Vegetables and Fruits for Health: Rhubarb.”
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has investigated a number of outbreaks of food-borne illness associated with fiddleheads. The implicated ferns were eaten either raw or lightly cooked (sauteed, parboiled or microwaved). The findings of this investigation recommend that fiddleheads be cooked thoroughly before being eaten, boiling for at least 15 minutes or steaming for 10–12 minutes.
UMaine Extension educator Kathy Savoie recommends getting up-to-date information on the best methods, canners, jars and seals to use to ensure a safe result before preserving food. Recommendations are available from local UMaine Extension offices and online at extension.umaine.edu/food-health, including upcoming food preservation workshops and how-to videos. For more information, call 207.581.3188; 800.287.0274 (in Maine).
–University of Maine Cooperative Extension
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