What is Fennel Bulb?
A fennel is a plant species that has yellow flowers and feather-like leaves. Before, this is commonly found in the Mediterranean shores. These days, it can also be found in areas with dry soils located near seacoasts or on riverbanks. At some parts of the world, people can find them on roadsides, in pastures, and in other regions.
Fennel is an all-around vegetable that plays an essential part in the food industry of most European countries. The plant is said to be associated with the Greek god of food and wine, Dionysus. It takes sweet and sort of like licorice, with a crispy feel with a juicy touch in the mouth. It complements garlic, rosemary, tomatoes, and oranges among others. Among its common substitutes are celery, anise seed, and jicama.
Fennel bulbs are widely cultivated in many places because of its edible and strong flavored leaves and fruits, though many people mistake them as the seeds. It has extreme aroma and are very flavorful herbs that can be used for culinary or medicinal purposes.
A fennel bulb can be braised, stewed, grilled, sautÃ©ed, or eaten raw. Most times, the seed from this plant is commonly mistaken as that of anise, which looks and tastes almost the same as the fennel, though fennel is smaller. Aside from the bulb, the seeds and foliage are also used for culinary purposes all over the world. The pollen, which is the most expensive, is considered to be the most potent. The leaves are shaped like that of dill.
Aside from side dishes such as salads, pastas, and other vegetable dishes, this plant is also used as a flavoring to some natural toothpaste.
Fennel is also popular as a medicinal herb. It helps heal intestinal tract ailments. The plant can also be made into a syrup that heal babies who have colic, a condition where a supposedly healthy baby continuously cries and screams for extended period for no particular reason at all. Adults drink it in tea form for it relaxes the intestines and reduces bloating brought about by some digestive disorders.
Fennel is also believed to help improve eyesight. According to some online researchers, the Ancient Romans regarded fennel as the herb of sight. Root extracts are often used in tonics to clear otherwise clouded eyes.
It is also a potential drug against hypertension, and is a very effective diuretic. Mothers who are breastfeeding also benefit from fennel, for it improves the milk supply for the newborn babies. This is caused by fennel being a source of phytoestrogens that help promote the growth of breast tissue.
A fennel that is of good quality are those that have clean bulbs, solid and firm, and with no signs of bruising or spotting. The stalks should be straight, whitish or green in color, and should not have signs of a flowering bud. This is because a bud indicates that the fennel is past its maturity.
The top ten countries that produce fennel all over the world are India, Mexico, People’s Republic of China, Iran, Bulgaria, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Canada, and Afghanistan.