Photography, Useful

Fennel bulb

Fennel

Fennel bulb is something you like or you don’t. There is no middle way.

Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet, adding a refreshing contribution to the ever popular Mediterranean cuisine. Most often associated with Italian cooking, be sure to add this to your selection of fresh vegetables from the autumn through early spring when it is readily available and at its best.

Fennel is a perennial, pleasant-smelling herb with yellow flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean, but is now found throughout the world. Dried fennel seeds are often used in cooking as an anise-flavored spice. But don’t confuse fennel with anise; though they look and taste similar, they are not the same. Fennel’s dried ripe seeds and oil are used to make medicine.

When eaten raw, the texture is crisp and the flavor is quite assertive and anisseedy. Cooked, it’s softer and more mellow.

If possible, go for the smaller, young bulbs, as they’re more tender. They should look white, with no blemishes, and feel heavy for their size. The feathery green tops should be fresh and bright, with no yellowing.

It originated in the Mediterranean and those cultures have long used it for culinary and medicinal reasons. It has not been spread and naturalized as an herb around the world, but still primarily grows in coastal climates and on riverbanks. It is also one of the main components of the alcohol absinthe, although the plant does not have hallucinogenic properties.

The health benefits of fennel include relief from anemia, indigestion, flatulence, constipation, colic, diarrhea, respiratory disorders, menstrual disorders, and its benefits regarding eye care. Fennel, which has the scientific name Foeniculum Vulgare Miller, or its essence, is widely used around the world in mouth fresheners, toothpastes, desserts, antacids and in various culinary applications.

Fennel is used for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas,bloating, loss of appetite, and colic in infants. It is also used for upper respiratory tract infections, coughs, bronchitis, cholera, backache, bedwetting, and visual problems.

Some women use fennel for increasing the flow of breast milk, promoting menstruation, easing the birthing process, and increasing sex drive.

Fennel powder is used as a poultice for snakebites.

In foods and beverages, fennel oil is used as a flavoring agent.

In other manufacturing processes, fennel oil is used as a flavoring agent in certain laxatives, and as a fragrance component in soaps and cosmetics.

 

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43 thoughts on “Fennel bulb”

    1. Absolutely love fennel, both seeds and bulbs. Halve fennel bulb, sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil before roasting in hot oven till tender and golden.
      Sprinkle fennel seed, chili flakes and salt over root vegetables before roasting with loads of onions.
      Rub fennel seed and salt onto pork shoulder before slow cooking. And always buy pork and fennel sausages from your Italian butcher.
      Great post and stunning photography, cheers from Australia.

  1. I’ve used fennel a few times in recent weeks, (having never used it before) and I must say what an interesting & versatile veg it is. I was pleasantly surprised to read of its health benefits also! One recipe was a variation of spaghetti bolognese using lamb mince & fennel instead of onion… Fab! Another was a tomato & fennel Rissotto! Also very nice!

  2. I’m officially going to try to incorporate more fennel into my cooking! Up to now I’ve only sliced it and roasted it with beets. How do you like it? Or should I just google 🙂

  3. Well done. Fennel is one of my favourites to cook with. As a 22yr old backpacker in Italy so long ago, being served a bowl of shaved fennel dressed w/ lemon and oil was a revelation. These days I serve it up with the roast when family comes around. It’s a brave new world. I sauté it with onions at the start of pasta sauces and paellas and in the workplace we source the very youngest bulbs to poach in olive oil. Good article CwL 🙂

  4. Hi there. Thank you for stopping by Primal Zen yesterday. I thought I’d hop on over here to Cooking Without Limits and have a look around. I have never heard of fennel (at least I don’t think I have) and would like to learn more. Thank you for posting this delightful info.

    Sincerely,
    Pepper

  5. My husband was reluctant to try fennel but he’s pretty trusting when it comes to my cooking. Now he really enjoys it. Great post! Introducing people to new flavors is what great cooks do!

  6. i enjoy fennel raw. so aromatic and crunchy. but i especially enjoy it cooked in a seafood soup. makes such a world of difference with its aroma.

  7. I love fennel! Since it is so expensive (here on east coast of USA), I tried growing my own this year. I was unsuccessful, but will try again next season perhaps with more research!

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