Photo by Meredith Publishing

Fiddleheads are the curled fronds of a young ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), found in the eastern half of the U.S. So why would you want to eat them?

Because they're actually really good, despite the weird look.

They have a nutty, grassy flavor that's like a mash-up of asparagus, artichokes, and green beans, and a pleasantly crisp-crunchy texture. They can be steamed, boiled, or sautéed (just don't eat them raw—they need to be cooked for food safety). Oh, and they're good for you: rich in Omega-3 oils, fiber, and vitamins A and C.

For more information, including how to harvest and clean them, go to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Try them in this recipe for a Fiddlehead and Bacon Omelette.

Photo by Bren

This article was originally published in Allrecipes magazine.