Fennel: Florence (Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum)
$1.00 - $5.60
Fennel has a rich history in ancient Greece, where it was called "marathon." The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC and the Italian town of the same name both received their names from this plant, which the Grecians regarded as a symbol of victory. Its medicinal properties, which are many, include an ability to suppress the appetite. In 13th century England, people ate fennel seeds during fast days or long sermons to partially satisfy their hunger; this led to the nickname "meeting seeds." A tea made of fennel became a well known treatment for infant colic or digestive disturbances. The seed of the fennel plant is most commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisine, while the bulb-like portion of the plant is popular in Italian and German cuisine. While culinary use is perfectly safe, large doses of fennel should be avoided by expectant mothers.