Fennel Facts

Fennel Facts
Fennel is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the carrot family. Fennel originates from Mediterranean region, but it can be found around the world today. It grows on a light, well-drained soil in areas that provide enough sun. In some parts of the world, fennel is classified as invasive species because it spreads quickly and eliminates native plants. Fennel is a multipurpose plant. Ancient Romans used it to prevent obesity. Ancient Greeks used it as a remedy. Europeans used it to manufacture drink called "sack", that was popular during the Shakespearean time. Fennel still has numerous applications, but it is mostly cultivated as a source of food.
Interesting Fennel Facts:
Fennel develops erect, branched stem that can grow up to 8 feet in height. Stem is bluish-grey colored.
Base of fennel consists of multiple layers of inflated leaves that form bulb-like structure. Color of the bulb depends on the variety. It is usually light green or white colored and has firm texture.
Fennel has green, finely dissected, feathery, aromatic leaves.
Fennel produces miniature, yellow colored flowers. Terminal inflorescence known as umbel consists of 20 to 50 individual flowers.
Fruit of fennel is oblong or oval shaped dry seed.
Fennel propagates via seed. Planting of fennel usually takes place during the spring.
Leaves, bulb and seed are edible part of fennel. They are usually sold separately. Leaves and seed are consumed as seasoning. Bulb is used as vegetable.
Fennel has sweet taste that resembles the flavor of anise and licorice. Leaves have stronger taste than bulb.
Fennel is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins C, B9 and B6 and minerals such as potassium, manganese and phosphorus.
Seed are mostly used for the preparation of cookies, cakes and pastries. Leaves are used for salads, soups and dishes made of meat and vegetables. Bulb can be consumed raw, or it can be cooked, boiled, microwaved and fried. It is often combined with other types of vegetables or meat and used for the preparation of various salty dishes. Fennel can be also consumed in the form of herbal tea.
People in India and Pakistan chew sugar-coated seed of fennel after meal to facilitate digestion and eliminate bad breath.
Absinthe is famous beverage made of fennel, wormwood and anise. It was initially developed for medical purposes, but it soon became popular as alcoholic drink.
Fennel has antispasmodic (relieves muscle spasms) properties. It is used to relax smooth muscles of respiratory and intestinal tract and uterine wall. Fennel is also used to alleviate flatulence and to facilitate milk production in the breastfeeding women.
India is the greatest manufacturer of fennel in the world.
Fennel is perennial plant, which means that its life cycle lasts more than 2 years in the wild.


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