A Short Introduction To Fennel Seeds, Scientific Name – Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel plant is a small bushy plant grows in the dry and cold atmosphere near the seashore. This plant was originally found in the Mediterranean region which later dispersed all over the world.
Every part of the plant is used in culinary as well as medicinal uses. It is a very old plant domesticated before 1900 years.
The History Behind Its Name & Plant Morphology
The name ‘Fennel’ has a long etymology; meant as ‘hay.' In Latin ‘Feniculum’ or ‘Foeniculum' are the words for ‘hay,' from these names it turns to ‘fenol’ or ‘finol’ during the old English era. Later became slangs like ‘fenel’ or ‘fenyl' which later is known as ‘Fennel' in the modern world.
Fennel seeds are the outputs of yellow flowers of fennel plant which are present in umbels, each umbel having 20 to 50 tiny flowers.
Let Us Know The Taste & Smell Of Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds taste sweet when chewed. It smells like mint or camphor also resembles licorice.
Presence of Fennel Seeds In Culinary
Fish: Fish is made with a complimentary ingredient as a fennel bulb. Fennel bulb is chopped and sautéed with fish pieces to make a delicious fennel fish recipe. If the fish and chopped fennel bulb or stem simmered together; it forms a very healthy and tasty soup.
Ingredient In Salad: Fennel seeds are added to fresh vegetable and fruit salads to enhance taste and fragrance. Fennel seeds are popularly sprinkled on cucumber salad to increase the cooling.
Used To Flavor Cheese: Cheese spreads for toast are flavored with fennel seeds powder to give it a nice fragrance and taste.
Baking Cuisine: Fennel seeds are used in many baked delicacies like fennel cakes, fennel bread, fennel toasts. The baked products made with fennel seeds taste very delicious and are nicely fragrant.
Tasty Sausages: Sausages are all-time hit food products during any sports series. People in stadiums cannot resist munching on delicious, yummy sausages. Sausage is a cylindrical meat food stuffed with breadsticks. Sausage is made of minced meat and some spices including fennel seeds.
Presence In Pickle: Indian pickles are very spicy and hot in taste made using a variety of spices like mustard seeds, red chili powder, black pepper, turmeric, salt, and fennel seeds.
Indian Curries: Spicy Indian curries are made by stirring a paste of spices in oil. Fennel seeds are one of the essential spices in the paste of spices.
Meat & Pork: Meat or pork is made by marinating it in some spices powders including fennel seeds powder; which gives meat and pork a unique taste and aroma.
Summer Squash: Fennel seeds are cold; so in summer days these are ground to paste and mixed with sugar, lime juice, salt to a glass of water. This fennel squash provides instant relaxation from the scorching sun.
Mouth Freshener: Due to its fragrance and sweet taste, fennel seeds are gulped as a healthy mouth freshener after meals. Fennel seeds are roasted with sesame seeds and mixed with sugar crystals and salt or are coated with a layer of sugar paste.
Herbal Tea: Fennel seeds are boiled in water to make a healthy herbal tea which is useful for new moms on an excellent production of milk.
Is There Any Nutrition Present In Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds do not only bring fragrance and taste, but it does also contain some essential nutrients. Rich dietary protein, B vitamins, vitamin A, dietary fibers and minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, selenium, and magnesium are found in the fennel seeds.
Usefulness Of Fennel Seeds In Diet
Fennel seeds keep us healthy in many ways as mentioned below:
Makes Body To Lose Water: The tea made up of fennel seeds is useful to throw toxins out of the body and protects the urinary tract from infection. Fennel seeds are diuretic; this property stimulated the body to perpetuate.
Controls Blood Pressure: Fennel seed chewing increases nitrite formation in saliva which is an excellent natural remedy to check on blood pressure. Fennel seeds contain potassium which is one of the essential nutrients to maintain cell health.
Helps To Reduce Asthma Problems: Fennel seeds tea is helpful to reduce some asthma-related diseases like bronchitis, cough, and cold.
Good Eyesight: Vitamin A present in fennel seeds helps to improve eyesight; this medicinal use of fennel seeds was known in ancient India. In those days, fennel seeds extract was used to cure glaucoma.
Blood Cleanser: The diuretic property of fennel seeds is used to cleanse the blood from toxins formed due to cell metabolism.
Skin Glow: The dietary minerals like zinc, selenium, and calcium present in fennel seeds are used to maintain high oxygen balance as well as hormonal balance in the body. The cooling property of fennel seeds helps to reduce inflammation of the skin; makes skin acne-free and glow.
Reduces Cancer Risk: Fennel seeds have an antioxidant property that helps to fight free radicals and diseases caused by free radicals such as skin cancer, breast cancer, and stomach cancer.
How & When Fennel Seeds Are Being Used In Human Life
Fennel is a native of southern Europe as evidenced in the book ‘The Naturalis Historie’ by a Roman author and naturalist Pliny dated some 1900 years from now. He has observed snakes, and reptiles rubbed their skin against the fennel plant and believed that the fennel plant must help these serpents to improve their eyesight. He used the herb to cure 22 different types of ailments.
Later fennel seed became the staple food in the culinary uses of King Edward I household. There were many social and traditional beliefs were attached to it.
The Greek name of fennel seeds, ‘marathon' originated from a historical incidence. It is said that the famous ‘Battle of Marathon' against Persian was fought on the plains of fennel plants.
Cultivation Of Fennel Plant On Commercial Level
The fennel plant is well grown and yields the best quality seeds in cool and dry climatic conditions. Fennel plant has a wide range of soil adaptability; the plant can grow in red loam, black loam, or sandy loam. But fennel plant grows and yields well in black cotton or loamy soil. For commercial production, it is advisable to check the quality of soil for any nutritional deficiency of soil.
India is the top producing country of fennel seeds all over the world. According to records India produces as large as 60% of the global fennel seeds requirement. Other countries like China and Bulgaria comes in the second rank in fennel seed production.