Fennel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Fennel seed)
Jump to: navigation, search
For giant fennel, see Ferula communis. For sea fennel, see Crithmum. Not to be confused with Nigella sativa, also called fennel flower.
Fennel
Foeniculum vulgare
Foeniculum July 2011-1a.jpg
Fennel in flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Genus: Foeniculum
Species: F. vulgare
Binomial name
Foeniculum vulgare
Mill.
Synonyms[1]

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. [2] It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.

It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.

Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the mouse moth and the anise swallowtail.

Etymology and names[edit]

The word "fennel" developed from the Middle English fenel or fenyl. This came from the Old English fenol or finol, which in turn came from the Latin feniculum or foeniculum, the diminutive of fenum or faenum, meaning "hay". The Latin word for the plant was ferula, which is now used as the genus name of a related plant.

Cultural references[edit]

Fennel, from Koehler's Medicinal-plants (1887)

As Old English finule, fennel is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century.[3]

The Greek name for fennel is marathon (μάραθον) or marathos (μάραθος),[4] and the place of the famous battle of Marathon (whence Marathon, the subsequent sports event), literally means a plain with fennels.[5] The word is first attested in Mycenaean Linear B form as ma-ra-tu-wo.[6]

The name Funchal was given to their new town by the first settlers on Madeira due to the abundance of wild fennel, from the Portuguese word "funcho" (fennel) and the suffix "-al".[7]

Appearance[edit]

Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, is a perennial herb. It is erect, glaucous green, and grows to heights of up to 2.5 m, with hollow stems. The leaves grow up to 40 cm long; they are finely dissected, with the ultimate segments filiform (threadlike), about 0.5 mm wide. (Its leaves are similar to those of dill, but thinner.) The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels 5–15 cm wide, each umbel section having 20–50 tiny yellow flowers on short pedicels. The fruit is a dry seed from 4–10 mm long, half as wide or less, and grooved.[8]

Fennel flowerheads
Fennel seeds

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Fennel, bulb, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 130 kJ (31 kcal)
7.29 g
Dietary fiber 3.1 g
0.20 g
1.24 g
Vitamins
Thiamine (B1)
(1%)
0.01 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(3%)
0.032 mg
Niacin (B3)
(4%)
0.64 mg
(5%)
0.232 mg
Vitamin B6
(4%)
0.047 mg
Folate (B9)
(7%)
27 μg
Vitamin C
(14%)
12 mg
Trace minerals
Calcium
(5%)
49 mg
Iron
(6%)
0.73 mg
Magnesium
(5%)
17 mg
Manganese
(9%)
0.191 mg
Phosphorus
(7%)
50 mg
Potassium
(9%)
414 mg
Zinc
(2%)
0.20 mg
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Fennel is widely cultivated, both in its native range and elsewhere, for its edible, strongly flavored leaves and fruits. Its aniseed flavor comes from anethole, an aromatic compound also found in anise and star anise, and its taste and aroma are similar to theirs, though usually not as strong.[9]

Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Azoricum Group; syn. F. vulgare var. azoricum) is a cultivar group with inflated leaf bases which form a bulb-like structure. It is of cultivated origin,[10] and has a mild anise-like flavor, but is sweeter and more aromatic. Florence fennel plants are smaller than the wild type.[11] Their inflated leaf bases are eaten as a vegetable, both raw and cooked. There are several cultivars of Florence fennel, which is also known by several other names, notably the Italian name finocchio. In North American supermarkets, it is often mislabeled as "anise".[12][13]

Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum' or 'Nigra', "bronze-leaved" fennel, is widely available as a decorative garden plant.[14]

Fennel has become naturalized along roadsides, in pastures, and in other open sites in many regions, including northern Europe, the United States, southern Canada, and much of Asia and Australia. It propagates well by seed, and is considered an invasive species and a weed in Australia[15] and the United States. In western North America, fennel can be found from the coastal and inland wildland-urban interface east into hill and mountain areas, excluding desert habitats.[16][17]

Florence fennel bulbs

Florence fennel is one of the three main herbs used in the preparation of absinthe, an alcoholic mixture which originated as a medicinal elixir in Switzerland and became, by the late 19th century, a popular alcoholic drink in France and other countries.

Culinary uses[edit]

Sugar-coated and uncoated fennel seeds are used in India and Pakistan in mukhwas, an after-meal snack and breath freshener.

The bulb, foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant are widely used in many of the culinary traditions of the world. The small flowers of wild fennel (known as fennel "pollen" [18]) are the most potent form of fennel, but also the most expensive.[19] Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavored spice, brown or green in color when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal.[9] The leaves are delicately flavored and similar in shape to those of dill. The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. Young tender leaves are used for garnishes, as a salad, to add flavor to salads, to flavor sauces to be served with puddings, and also in soups and fish sauce.[20]

Fennel seeds are sometimes confused with those of anise, which are similar in taste and appearance, though smaller. Fennel is also used as a flavoring in some natural toothpastes. The seeds are used in cookery and sweet desserts.[20]

Many cultures in India and Pakistan (where it is known as saunf in Hindi), Afghanistan, Iran, and the Middle East use fennel seed in their cookery. It is one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking.[21] It is an essential ingredient of the Assamese/Bengali/Oriya spice mixture panch phoron[22] and in Chinese five-spice powders. In many parts of India and Pakistan, roasted fennel seeds are consumed as mukhwas, an after-meal digestive and breath freshener.

Fennel leaves are used in some parts of India as leafy green vegetables either by themselves or mixed with other vegetables, cooked to be served and consumed as part of a meal. In Syria and Lebanon, the young leaves are used to make a special kind of egg omelette (along with onions and flour) called ijjeh.

Many egg, fish, and other dishes employ fresh or dried fennel leaves. Florence fennel is a key ingredient in some Italian and German salads, often tossed with chicory and avocado, or it can be braised and served as a warm side dish. It may be blanched or marinated, or cooked in risotto.

Fennel seeds are the primary flavor component in Italian sausage.

In Spain, the stems of the fennel plant are used in the preparation of pickled eggplants, berenjenas de Almagro.

An herbal tea or tisane can be made from fennel.[23]

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) essential oil in clear glass vial

On account of its aromatic properties, fennel fruit forms one of the ingredients of the well-known compound liquorice powder.

In the Indian subcontinent, fennel seeds are also eaten raw, sometimes with a sweetener.

Other uses[edit]

Fennel is one of the plants which is said to be disliked by fleas, and powdered fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables.[24]

Chemistry[edit]

Foeniculoside I is a stilbenoid. It is a glucoside of the stilbene trimer cis-miyabenol C. It can be found in Foeniculi fructus (fruit of F. vulgare).[25]

Production[edit]

India is the leader in production of anise, badian (star anise), fennel and coriander.

Top ten anise, badian, fennel & coriander producers — 11 June 2008
Country Production (Tonnes per year) Footnote
 India 110,000 F
 Mexico 49,688 F
 China 40,000 F
 Iran 30,000 F
 Bulgaria 28,100 F
 Syria 27,700
 Morocco 23,000 F
 Egypt 22,000 F
 Canada 11,000 F
 Afghanistan 10,000 F
 World 415,027 A
No symbol = official figure, P = official figure, F = FAO estimate, * = Unofficial/Semi-official/mirror data, C = Calculated figure A = Aggregate (may include official, semi-official or estimates);

Source: Food And Agricultural Organization of United Nations: Economic And Social Department: The Statistical Division

Similar species[edit]

Many species in the family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae are superficially similar to fennel, and some, such as poison hemlock, are toxic. It is therefore unwise, and potentially extremely dangerous, to use any part of any of these plants as an herb or vegetable unless it can be positively identified as being edible.

Dill, coriander and caraway are similar-looking herbs but shorter-growing than fennel, reaching only 40–60 cm (16–24 in). Dill has thread-like, feathery leaves and yellow flowers; coriander and caraway have white flowers and finely divided leaves (though not as fine as dill or fennel) and are also shorter-lived (being annual or biennial plants). The superficial similarity in appearance between these may have led to a sharing of names and etymology, as in the case of meridian fennel, a term for caraway.[26]

Cicely, or sweet cicely, is sometimes grown as an herb; like fennel, it contains anethole and therefore has a similar aroma but is lower-growing (up to 2 m (6.6 ft)) and has large umbels of white flowers and leaves that are fern-like rather than threadlike.

Giant fennel (Ferula communis) is a large, coarse plant, with a pungent aroma, which grows wild in the Mediterranean region and is only occasionally grown in gardens elsewhere. Other species of the genus Ferula are also commonly called giant fennel, but they are not culinary herbs.

In North America, fennel may be found growing in the same habitat and alongside natives osha (Ligusticum porteri) and Lomatium species, useful medicinal relatives in the parsley family.

Most Lomatium species have yellow flowers like fennel, but some[which?] are white flowered and resemble poison hemlock. Lomatium is an important historical food plant of Native Americans known as 'biscuit root'. Most Lomatium spp. have finely divided, hairlike leaves; their roots have a delicate rice-like odor, unlike the musty odor of hemlock. Lomatium species tend to prefer dry rocky soils devoid of organic material.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Plant List, Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
  2. ^ "Classification for Kingdom Plantae Down to Genus Foeniculum Mill.". US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Old English Plant Names". Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  4. ^ μάραθον. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  5. ^ Μαραθών in Liddell and Scott.
  6. ^ On tablets MY Ge 602, MY Ge 606 + fr., MY Ge 605 + 607 + frr. + 60Sa + 605b. "The Linear B word transliterated as ma-ra-tu-wo". Palaeolexicon. Word study tool of Ancient languages.  Raymoure, K.A. "ma-ra-tu-wo". Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B. Deaditerranean.  "MY 602 Ge (57)".  "MY 606 Ge + fr. (57)".  "MY 605 Ge + 607 + fr. [+] 60Sa + fr. [+] 605b + frr. (57)". DĀMOS: Database of Mycenaean at Oslo. University of Oslo. 
  7. ^ Frutuoso, G.; de Azevedo, A.R. (1873), As Saudades da terra (in Portuguese), Typ. funchalense, p. 39 
  8. ^ Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2
  9. ^ a b Katzer's Spice Pages: Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)
  10. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Foeniculum vulgare
  11. ^ "Green Fennel Seeds". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  12. ^ Rombauer, Irma (1997). Joy of Cooking. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc. p. 375. ISBN 0-684-81870-1. 
  13. ^ Ziedrich, Linda. The Joy of Pickling. 
  14. ^ RHS Plant Finder 2008–2009, Dorling Kindersley, 2008, p280
  15. ^ Atlas of Living Australia, Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Aniseed
  16. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  17. ^ Calflora taxon report, University of California, Foeniculum vulgare Miller, Biscuit root, fennel, sweet fennel
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ Culinary Fairy Dust
  20. ^ a b M. G. Kains (1912). American Agriculturist, ed. Culinary Herbs: Their Cultivation Harvesting Curing and Uses (English). Orange Judd Company. 
  21. ^ Tarla Dalal. Fennel seeds, Indian recipes using. http://www.tarladalal.com/glossary-fennel-seeds-410i . Accessed Oct 2012
  22. ^ Deepika Sahu (10 May 2012). "The power of five seeds". The Times Of India. 
  23. ^ http://www.poundoftea.com/benefits-of-fennel-tea/
  24. ^ "A Modern Herbal - Fennel". botanical.com. 
  25. ^ Four new glycosides of stilbene trimer from Foeniculi fructus (fruit of Foeniculum vulgare MILLER). Ono M, Ito Y, Kinjo J, Yahara S, Nohara T and Niiho Y, Chemical and pharmaceutical bulletin, 1995, vol. 43, no 5, pages 868-871 INIST:3610745
  26. ^ Anise Seed Substitute: Caraway Seed

External links[edit]