Fennel

Ingredients

  • Organic Fennel

Origin​

  • Turkey

Form

  • Seeds

Certification

  • Organic, Kosher

Typical Use

  • Spring, Summer, Fall

Background

  • Dried fennel fruit is an aromatic, anise-flavored spice, brown or green in color when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the fruit ages. Fennel was prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans who used it as medicine, food, and insect repellent. A fennel tea was believed to give courage to the warriors prior to battle. According to Greek mythology, Prometheus used a giant stalk of fennel to carry fire from Olympus to earth. The Greek name for fennel is/was marathon which is where the famous battle and subsequent run took place. Emperor Charlemagne required the cultivation of fennel on all imperial farms.

Cooking

  • Fennel and fennel fruits are used across the whole Mediterranean room. The strong anise-like flavor makes for an interesting and different dimension. However, fennel seeds are also used in India, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Middle East. It is one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking. It is an essential ingredient of the Assamese/Bengali/Oriya spice mixture panch phoron and in Chinese five-spice powders. In many parts of India, roasted fennel fruits are consumed as mukhwas, an after-meal digestive and breath freshener.

Cultural​

  • Fennel is a versatile vegetable that plays an important role in the food culture of many European nations, especially in France and Italy. Its esteemed reputation dates back to the earliest times and is reflected in its mythological traditions. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men.

​Spiritual

  • Fennel is an important magical herb that has been used for centuries.  It can be used internally as a tea or sprigs can be carried on the person in sachets or charms for clairvoyance, longevity, fertility, healing, love, purification, and strength.  It is also used in this manner to prevent negativity and provide protection from harmful spells.   In spells, Fennel can be used alone or with other like herbs for courage, divination, cleansing, strength, energy, meditation, virility, psychic protection. Hung in doorways or windows, Fennel protects from evil and sorcery and placed in keyholes, it protects against the spirits of the dead.  Grown around the outside of the home, Fennel provides protection from evil influences and negativity.

Medicinal​

  • There is very little literature about the medicinal values of Fennel Seeds. However, there is plenty about fennel as a whole. Best known probably for being one of the three main herbs (specifically  Florence fennel) 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. It has antioxidant properties, tons of vitamin C, volatile oils that may help with inflammation, plenty of fiber, and promotes cardiovascular health.

Recipes

 

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Santa Cruz, CA, United States

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