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Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare
Family Name: Miller Apiaceae
Commercial Part: Fruit
Hindi Name: Saunf
The Botanical name Foeniculum (Latin for "little hay") refers to the aroma of fennel and is the source of the name of fennel in many contemporary European languages. In India fennel is called saunf and is the traditional spice of the region.
Fennel is the dried aromatic ripe fruit of herbaceous plant and grows well in mild climates. Throughout Asia and Europe fennel fruits or seeds are used but there is no region where extensive fennel usage were especially typical. Even in many Mediterranean, Arabic, Iranian, Indian and Central European dishes fennel is needed in small quantities. It is a component of the Chinese five-spice powder and the Bengali panch phoron in India.
Different countries have various usage and beliefs regarding fennel. In ancient India fennel was used as a condiment and culinary spice. Today in India for meat dishes, fishes and seafood fennel is used to have the sweet flavor that also harmonizes with the earthy aroma of bread and gives pickles or vinegar a special flavor.
In Greece, it was a symbol of success whereas in Rome, young fennel shoots are used as food. Of the European countries, it is most known and used in France and optionally part of the herbes de Provençe, a spice mixture from Southern France
In India, it thrives in sunny, limey, well-drained soil of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and is used in food, medicine, liquor and perfume..
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