Paco or Pako scientific name, “Athyrium esculentum”
Fiddlehead fern, locally called pako in the Philippines, is a vegetable fern. one of the indigenous vegetables that many Filipinos love to eat.It belongs to family of fern. The very common use is for different vegetable cookings like adobong pako,ginisang pako,ginataang pako and Pako Salad.
Pako are commonly sold in bunch at local markets just like any ordinary vegetables for a fairly cheap price.
The Philippines have an abundance of pako especially during the rainy season. These are usually found growing on banks of swift-running streams, rivers, freshwater swamps or in the wild. It is important to be familiar with the kind of ferns when harvesting since not all are safe to eat, some are poisonous.
My favorite Recipe of pako is Pako Salad
Here is the Recipe
- 1 bundle of fiddle fern (Pako)
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 salted egg
For the dressing:
- ½ cup vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar ( optional )
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Mix the four ingredients.
- Shake the dressing in a bottle and drizzle on the pako.
Benefits of eating Pako
- Calcium -One of the top mineral content of Paco. Calcium is a mineral which is responsible for the formation of strong bones and teeth, also useful for the proper functioning of heart, nerves, muscles, and other body system.
Researchers indicate that this indigenous vegetable is a good source of calcium that is why an ample serving of this food in your meal would help alleviate calcium related problems.
- Iron - helps in the production of energy in the body. The iron is what carries the oxygen, which is essential to fuel our cells in performing their functions. Iron is also helpful for people who easily get woozy and weak due to iron deficiency.
- Thiamine or more commonly known as vitamin B. Vitamin B is especially important for facilitating the smooth operation of our nervous system.
Since “Pako “is classified as green leafy vegetable, this fern variety help relieve known Vitamin B deficiencies.
- Vitamin A - the maintenance of healthy eyes, skin and respiratory system. One with Vitamin A deficiency most like suffer from poor eyesight. Thus, including “paco” as part of your diet helps you have good eye sight, healthy skin and respiratory system.
- Phosphorus- This mineral assist our bodies burn carbohydrates and fats into energy as well as in the creation of protein for the growth and cell and tissue repair. Thus, Pako is said to help in speeding up the healing of wounds.
- Fiber- Paco leaves is rich in fiber, which is a perfect healthy diet for people who are losing weight, have heart problems and even those with diabetes
What makes paco attractive is its neutral flavor. It has no particular strong flavor that may be unpleasant but usually follows the flavor of the other food ingredients that you mix with it. This makes paco ideal to be served to children or for introducing your children with eating raw green leafy vegetables.