Fennel info Cooking Tips

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Fennel info Tips and Information

Fennel info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.

fennel info
River cafe

A very italian vegetable as it was developed in Italy around the seventeenth century thus the name Florence fennel. Buy plump white bulbs and use the fronds of herb at the top in Salsa Verde.
Fennel herb is a wild plant which grows all over Italy. It is known as the fish herb and has a much more pronounced aniseed flavour. The leaves and the seeds are both used. Dried fennel herb stalks can be placed under the fish to be baked in the oven.

Fennel is a common and muchloved spice in India. Served roasted after a meal as a digestive or used in countless home remedies for babies it is also sold fresh still on its fine bright green stalks outside schools where children buy it to chew on its fragrant juicy sweetness. Known to indian herbalists for centuries it still forms a part of every indian housewifes household medicine chest.

How it grows
Fennel is the dried ripe fruit of a biennial or perennial herb. The plant has wispy leaves and clusters of tiny yellow flowers on fine stalks. Fennel is native to the Mediterranean but also grows in Argentina Bulgaria Denmark Egypt France Germany Great Britain India Italy Japan Rumania and the United States.

Appearance and taste
Fresh fennel seeds are vibrant green. They are small and cylindrical 67mm long straight or slightly curved and have fine longitudinal ridges. They are dried for storage and turn to a dull greenish yellow. The entire fennel plant is aromatic and is used in various ways in the kitchen. The seeds have a warm sweet and intense flavour which turns slightly mellow and bitter on roasting.

Buying and storing
Fennel is available fresh on the stalk and as dried or ground seeds. Look for fennel seeds which are evenly greenish yellow and not brown and avoid bags that are hull of bristles. Fennel storff best if dry roasted it also grinds more easily. Store the spice in a dry jar away from light.

Medicinal and other uses
The use of fennel as a digestive aid is well known. It relieves flatulence and stimulates the appetite. It is one of the safest medicines for colic in babies and in India infants are given a daily drink of fennel water This infusion also makes a good eye bath. Fennel is thought to relieve wheezing catarrh and asthma. Fennel is an essential component of poan the betel leaf quid that many indians chew after a rich spicy meal. It is sometimes used to scent soaps.

Culinary uses
Fennel seems to add richness to meat gravies sweetness to desserts and a special zest to vegetables. It is used powdered or whole with lamb potatoes and in crlsp golden sweets that are drenched in fennel flavoured sugar syrup. Fennel is also used in pickles and chutneys in north India and a fennel infusion is a delicious base for refreshing drinks.

This Recipe Serves 4


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