I spent Mother's Day with my mother-in-law, and we got to talking about food. Her name is Joanne, and she started raving about fiddleheads.

Now, I've never been on board with the whole fiddlehead frenzy. To me, they're like chewing on air, very bland, and not exactly my idea of a gourmet delight. I'd probably only eat them if I had no other choice and had to do it to survive.

But for those of you who are diehard fiddlehead fans out there in Maine, here's a thought: are you sure you're picking the right ones?

My mother-in-law gave me the lowdown, and apparently, there is a secret way to make sure you are picking the right ferns to eat.

Let's play a game. Do you know if you are unknowingly eating a different garden variety green?

In order to know if you are grabbing the edible fiddleheads, all of these ferns are near a body of water.

According to Indigenous Aware, 

"Fiddlehead ferns are usually located near a water source such as a river, pond, lake or a wetland such as a marsh...Fiddlehead ferns will usually grow in bunches close by."

If you're picking what you think are fiddleheads and they're not within 10-20 feet of a water source, chances are, they're not fiddleheads.

If you're on the hunt for fiddlehead ferns, start by heading into heavily wooded areas.
Next, be sure to watch for nearby water sources. There are other plants that are similar in look and loop at the top, which can be mistaken for fiddleheads. So, the best way to determine if they are the right fern is by making sure water is nearby.
 Also, do not eat them raw. Fiddleheads should be consumed after being cooked.

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