The fiddlehead fern is named for its resemblance to the scroll on the end of a fiddle. Fiddleheads are not a cultivated crop, but are gathered in the wild in spring. These leaves, taken from the ostrich fern, are best when harvested as soon as they appear. Fiddleheads are harvested by hand when they reach an inch or two above the ground. Brown scales should be brushed out and the leaves thoroughly washed. Fiddleheads SHOULD NOT be eaten raw. Fiddleheads are often prepared and served as you would asparagus. Cook in a small amount of salted boiling water for at least 10 minutes or steam for 20 minutes.