I love ferns. I have always loved ferns. I had a couple of ferns in college, but I could never get them to live very long. I was actually a horticulture major in college for 2 weeks, and even when I was a horticulture major I could not keep ferns alive very long. I always notice the ferns when walking through nature or visiting a botanic garden. I tried to grow ferns in my previous house, but also without success. So for decades I have had a reverence for ferns.
Yesterday, even though it was not a Thursday, I did something I had never done before. I ate a fern. There was a special meal at work yesterday, and one of the appetizers had a fiddlehead fern as a garnish. It didn’t fully look like a fern, because it was still very compact and round.
The chef said that I should try one. So after all these years of admiring this beautiful plant, I ate one. Here is the bottom line — I didn’t like it. I think because I was expecting it to taste as amazing as it looks. I thought it would have a light, slightly sweet flavor. It did not. It should have tasted like a piece of white cake with frosting — that is how much I love ferns. If you look online, there are websites that describe it as a grassy springlike flavor with a hint of nuttiness. Some even say it reminds them of okra. Very disappointing.
So maybe it is a good thing that they don’t taste better. There would be fields of ferns, they would become common in grocery stores, and would lose their specialness.
I will continue to admire the beauty of ferns, but I do not plan to eat one again.