By Photogen


Fennel is a highly aromatic herb with culinary and medicinal uses. The two specimens in the picture are Florence fennel (finocchio) - a type with a swollen, bulb-like stem base used as a vegetable, and a refreshing addition to Mediterranean cuisine. It can be used both raw and cooked, in side dishes, salads, pastas, vegetable dishes and risottos. It is most often associated with Italian cooking and in fact, these beautiful bulbs (which arrived this morning with my online delivery) were grown in Italy. Its medicinal properties include easing digestive problems, and also helping coughs, bronchitis and visual problems. So lots of reasons to include it in your diet. Interestingly, the Greek name for fennel is marathos and the subsequent sports event -Marathon, literally means a plain with fennels.
For the picture, I arranged the fennel on two chopping boards to raise the level allowing me to brace my wrists on the work surface to steady the camera. I selected a position directly under a kitchen cabinet halogen light to create a strong pool of shade at the base and emphasise the vibrant green shoots. The downlight also created modelling on the bulbs and on the top row of tiles adding texture to the picture.

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