14 Amazing Facts About Fennels

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Fennel is a herbaceous plant with no more than 10 species in the wild. In cooking, they use any of them – the tubers are stewed, baked, eaten fresh, fresh juices are made, greens are put in salads, and seeds are added to stewed vegetable and meat dishes as a strong, spicy seasoning.

  1. The homeland of the fennel is the Mediterranean coast, from where it came to the north of Europe, to the south to Egypt, and to the east to India and China. The Greeks were the first to use fennel, and we owe its distribution to the ancient Romans. By the way, fennel can be included in the famous Italian minestrone soup, and in our opinion, in vegetable soup.
  2. Ignorant people often confuse fennel with dill. In fact, it is a close relative of celery, and its seeds resemble anise in the aroma. And yet we, following the botanists, assert: fennel is a completely independent plant.
  3. All parts of the fennel are eaten: the leaf part, the stems, and the root. They are used both as a seasoning and as an ingredient in a dish, Byway, fennel seeds are included in the Chinese mixture of five spices (fennel, cloves, cinnamon, anise, and Sichuan pepper) – the personification of the balance of five basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty). Why fennel can be the basis of a meal. For example, it is very original to cook mashed potatoes on a side dish not from the usual potatoes, but from fennel.
  4. The word fennel comes from the Latin feniculum, which means hay. But this name was assigned to the plant later – in the era of Ancient Rome. Initially in ancient Greece, it was called a “marathon”. And all because in 490 BC. e. in the battle with the Persians, the Greeks won a convincing victory on the battlefield called Marathon. In the heat of battle, the Hellenes took notice of the herb with a spicy-sweet scent that grew in that very field. Since then, the fennel has become a symbol of military success and victory.
  5. The same Greeks endowed fennel with mystical abilities, believing that its roots are able to save from evil spirits and bring good luck. They inserted pieces of the plant into the keyhole as a ward against evil spirits at home.
  6. Fennel can also be called the prototype of modern chewing gum. In the late Middle Ages, it was often chewed during important meetings to freshen the breath. Well, in India, fennel seeds are still served after a meal for this very purpose.
  7. Fennel has been honored to be immortalized in the name of the city. The capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira – Funchal – is named after him.
  8. There is, probably, the most implausible legend about fennel. It seems like thanks to this plant, snakes shed their skin every year and are reborn again. Of course, I would like to understand how they use fennel for this. But a legend is a legend, not a scientifically proven fact, to talk about outlandish things…
  9. Stern, but with a great sense of humor, the English respected fennel in ancient times so much that they even came up with a saying: “Whoever sees fennel and does not collect it is not a man, but a devil.”
  10. The most famous and widespread in gastronomy are fennel seeds – as a spicy-aromatic seasoning. They have a licorice smell and a sweet, spicy aniseed flavor. Fennel seeds are part of the famous 5 Chinese Spice Blend and the Indian counterpart, punch phoron.
  11. When choosing, note that the fennel tubers should be white, firm, and juicy, and the stems and herbs should be green and fresh. They contain many vitamins of group B, A, C, as well as trace elements sodium, calcium, magnesium, and selenium.
  12. Fennel is considered to be one of the best vegetables for weight loss. It removes excess fluid from the body, stimulates metabolism, satisfies hunger, and also calms the nervous system, and lowers cholesterol levels.
  13. The simplest and most delicious fennel dish is to fry the tubers cut into 6-8 parts in olive oil until golden brown, grind with crumbs and parmesan.
  14. Before use, fennel seeds can be slightly calcined in a dry hot pan – this will enhance not only the sweetness but also their pungency. In India, these seeds are used after meals as a breath freshener.
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