Fennel Seeds have a natural minty flavor because of which they are popular as natural mouth fresheners. Fennel is a plant belonging to the carrot family. It is a perennial herb with yellow flowers. Fennel seeds are derived from these plants. They have a dominant space in the Indian kitchen. They are consumed after food and are commonly referred as Saunf.
Fennel is both an herb and a spice. All parts of fennel plant are edible like the roots, stalks and leaves with the spice coming from dried seeds. A native to the Mediterranean, fennel is an ancient and common plant known to ancient Greeks. It spread throughout Europe via Rome. It is also grown in India, Australia and South America.
Fennel is a dried ripe fruit of a perennial aromatic herbaceous plant, which grows in mild climates. It is approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inches long and has a green food colour. They are oblong, elliptical, straight and slightly curved with prominent ridges. It smells and tastes like amise with slight note of camphor. It has long been used in India and China for its medicinal value and is used as a multi-purpose spice in food, medicines, liquors and perfume. It is also exported in the form of seeds, powder and volatile oil.
Fennel seeds are defined as the dried yellowish brown schizocarpic fruits that are obtained from the plant of fennel. They have a sweet and aromatic flavour and emit a pleasant odour.
In culinary terms, fennel seeds are a very crucial ingredient in many seasoning blends of Italy, China, Scandinavia, etc. They are a commonly used ingredient in the Italian sausages and also in rye balls and meat breads. Fennel seeds are a rich source of minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, etc. There are two main constituents of fennel seeds, namely, Anethol and Fenchone.
Fennel seeds come with a vast set of health benefits. The presence of Anethol in the fennel seeds helps to fight against cancer and indigestion.
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