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Fenugreek has bright green clover-like, rounded leaves that impart a pleasantly bittersweet flavor. The flavor is most often likened to that of maple syrup. As the plant matures, it produces sword shaped-“pea pods” that are filled with 10 to 20 seeds resembling golden pebbles. These seeds are very hard and are most often ground into a powder. The flavor of the seeds is very similar to that of the leaves.
Fenugreek is available is available year-round, with a peak season during the summer and early fall.
Fenugreek is considered both a culinary herb and a spice, depending on which part of the plant is being used. It is in the legume family, related to peanuts and garden peas. The name Fenugreek means “ram’s horn clover” alluding to its clover-like leaves. Botanically, Trigonella Foenum-graecum, Fenugreek is known by many names, including Greek Clover, Greek Hay, and Methi. The herb is noted for its ability to improve sexual performance in men. Researchers believe it is the saponins, or phytochemicals, in the herb that increases the male hormones.
Young Fenugreek leaves are preferred as the flavor is not quite as bitter as when the leaves are more mature. The leaves are used as leafy greens in curries or fry breads. They can be used fresh, dried or frozen. The fresh leaves do not keep for long; however dried or frozen, the leaves retain their flavor. The leaves pair best with other herbs such as paprika, cumin and coriander. The flavor can highlight the savory notes of tomatoes and okra; add to soups or stews. Add a small amount to a salad mix for a bitter caramel flavor. The seeds can be toasted at a low temperature to enhance the flavor and reduce bitterness. The roasted seed can be used as a coffee substitute. Using too much of this ancient spice can make a dish overly bitter, so use sparingly. Ground Fenugreek seeds are used as a spice in curries and other East Indian dishes.
Fenugreek has been used for centuries as a remedy for diabetes and loss of appetite. The leaves have been used as a poultice for inflammation and on wounds and sores. It is currently being studied by the National Institutes for Health for its effects on diabetes, and its ability to lower blood sugar levels.
Native to Southern Europe and India and first cultivated in the Near East, Fenugreek is grown throughout the world today. Fenugreek’s first recorded use was dated back to 1500 B.C., as described on a piece of papyrus from Ancient Egypt. Desiccated seeds dating back to 1323 B.C. were discovered in the tomb of King Tut. The seeds are used primarily as a flavor for imitation maple syrup worldwide. As recently as 2005, Fenugreek was processed in New York City, blanketing the area with the smell of pancakes and syrup. Fenugreek grows best in warmer, Mediterranean-like climates. It can be found growing in the wild in California and Maryland in the US, as well as in southeastern Europe and the Middle East.
Recipes that include Fenugreek. One is easiest, three is harder.
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Atlas World Fresh Market Near Poway, California, United States
About 380 days ago, 3/19/19
Sharer's comments : Fenugreek spotted at Atlas World Fresh Market.
Food Town GroceryNear Davie, Florida, United States
6431 Stirling Rd Davie, Davie 33314
About 437 days ago, 1/21/19
Sharer's comments : Fenugreek spotted at Foodtown.