Hello all, sorry it’s been a few days since I posted. As it often does, life got hectic. My youngest cousin decided to come up for Connecticut and visit us, so this week has been an absolute whirlwind so far. Yesterday my little sister, my cousin, and I all were getting a little bit of cabin fever and feeling a touch landlocked, so we decided to go for a drive, and after a series of confused GPS directions, and several wrong turns until we found ourselves in Belfast. It’s about an hour southwest of Bangor, and it’s a charming little town right on the ocean. There are beautiful ship-yard and antique houses with loads of charm. We spent most of the morning popping in and out of some clothing stores and debating where to eat lunch while admiring the river, the boats bobbing in the Passagassawakeag (try saying that three times fast!) river which connects to the Salty, Atlantic, Penobscot Bay.
Belfast, ME (Repurposed, Recycled, Repainted Buoys); June 27,2017
After several frenetic Google searches of local establishments that we walked by, we eventually settled on the Lookout Bar & Grill, which is located right near the shipyard on Front Street. The food was absolutely amazing, but the real heroes were their bloody marys which had plenty of olives, limes, and lemons and a locally sourced pickled fiddlehead. Now if you’re not from Maine or New England, chances are you’re a bit confused right now, and you’re only going to get more confused. Mainer’s are nothing if not innately original. In the early spring, when all the plants are just beginning to wake up and bloom, we go out into the bogs and collect baby ferns, still curled tight and tender.
This is NOT my photo, the growing season has passed and I don’t have any fresh fiddleheads on hand. Click the picture to be linked to the source of this content.
After a vigorous washing to get rid of the pine needles, dirt, and dead fern residue we then steam or pickle our crop for consumption. I’ve had steamed fiddleheads many times, with butter and a little vinegar. They’re a unique flavor, pleasantly bitter, crunchy, and with a strong flavor that is slightly reminiscent of asparagus. In addition to being a local ingredient, you can literally go into the woods and pick, Fiddleheads are chock full of vitamin A and C (which is part of why they’re so bitter), they have boatloads of iron, potassium, and fiber too. All in all these little emeralds are tasty and super healthy for you. I ended up asking the waiter if I could purchase some of their pickled fiddleheads and bought a pint of them for $8. Generally, I wouldn’t pay that much for any type of pickle, but fiddlehead harvesting is labor intensive, and this was a local product, so I decided it was worth it.
Jar of Pickled Fiddleheads; June 28, 2017
Pickled Fiddleheads; June 28, 2017
I feel like it’s worth noting that the local bar we visited also offered fiddleheads deep fried, I totally regret not ordering that dish and it’s definitely on my “to eat” list now.