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Whether as a tea, in a stew or as a vegetable in its own right, fennel finds its way into our domestic cuisine in many forms. In addition to the taste, the tuber also convinces with numerous healthy ingredients. Raw consumption would therefore be ideal, without changing or even destroying these substances through heat and cooking. But can you actually eat fennel raw? And what about the solid stalk, which according to numerous relevant recipes must be removed?
Eat fennel raw
It is often assumed that Foeniculum Vulgare must be cooked before eating. From this, many cooks conclude that the tasty tuber is even poisonous and must be heated before eating. But that is clearly not the case. On the contrary. In vegan cuisine, fennel is often used in its raw form due to its delicate yet aromatic taste. Whether as a salad or cut into strips with various dips, it can be eaten uncooked very well and without concern. In contrast to preparation by heating, raw consumption even has the advantage that all of its valuable ingredients are fully preserved and benefit the consumer:
- Vitamins A, B and C
- Essential oils such as myrcene, anethole and fenchone (also crucial for the typical taste)
- folic acid
- mineral salts
- trace elements
- Minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium
- Vegetable Starch
Toxic ingredients, on the other hand, are not known. On the contrary. The umbelliferae even have an effect thanks to the combination of numerous substances it contains stomach calming and is considered a light and digestible meal.
tip: Because of its mild aroma, fennel is also very suitable for introducing children to raw food and vegetables in general! Its crunchy but not too hard consistency is fun to nibble on and eat at the same time.
Eat raw - but right!
It is a documented fact that many people only eat Foeniculum Vulgare when it is cooked. The reason is certainly not that the plant is poisonous. Rather, the reason for not using raw fennel plants is that the plant is very sensitive and easily bruises. These tend to rot quickly, the taste of which can spread to large areas of the tuber. In addition, sand and dirt tend to accumulate between the onion-like layers, which leaves the plant edible, but can easily spoil the joy of enjoyment. Eaten raw, it is therefore advisable to consider the following steps:
- wash very well
- Cut out pressure points
- Alternatively: pull off the entire layer with pressure points downwards
- Before eating, check for sand between layers
- In the case of very heavy soiling, detach layers and wash and prepare separately
- Either brush or remove the root base thoroughly
But now there is also the question of how the trunk of the plant is doing. If you believe numerous cookbooks, this must be removed before eating. Again, the reason is definitely not the fact that it is poisonous. It is indeed edible, but compared to the rest of the tuber it is much harder and firmer, making it much more difficult to use. Even if the heart of the tuber could theoretically be eaten raw, it is actually worth cooking and thus softening its substance.
tip: Quite similar to the stalk area, it is also about the stalks. They are also very woody, but have a much stronger aroma. They should also be cooked before consumption. They are not poisonous even when raw!
New question - old answer
The well-known and highly revered medical doctor Hildegard von Bingen already recognized Foeniculum Vulgare as one of the few 100 percent healthy universal remedies. She said that regardless of how it is consumed, fennel is capable of making people happy. It is also suitable for heating, stimulating sweating and promoting blood circulation. Furthermore, Hildegard von Bingen attributes disinfecting effects to fennel and its seeds and an improvement in human breath.
From the formulation she uses for the type of consumption "however it is eaten", it can be inferred that heating or even cooking was not considered absolutely necessary around 1000 years ago. At the same time, von Bingen does not restrict enjoyment in any way, so that this should also be sufficient evidence that nothing poisonous about fennel is. Basically harmless are therefore:
tip: Fennel seeds, as an independent part of the plant, can often be found on spice shelves today. They are used to flavor food and are suitable for both raw and cooked dishes.