Dill

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Anethum graveolens

 

History

Another member of the Umbelliferae Family (now: Apiaceae ). Dill is native to western Asia, but now common in many parts of the world. It is believed to have been used medicinally by the Egyptians about 5000 years ago, and later by the Greeks, and Romans. Most well known medicinally for relieving flatulence, and easing digestion. Dill was commonly used in cooler climates to flavour winter stored foods.

Growing

Dill is easy to grow, but like other members of the family is best sown direct as it does not like root disturbance. In Hawkes Bay light shade in the summer would be of benefit, otherwise it enjoys sun. The soft feathery leaves are an attractive addition to the flower garden. Free draining soil is best with regular moisture at least till established. Best sown in spring, or early autumn. Grow to 60- 80 mm.

Uses

Dill leaves are particularly popular added to fish dishes, and have a sweetish anise like flavour. Also go well with potatoes and beans. Try them in a potato salad. The ripe green fruits (Seeds) can be used in cooking as well. Probably most well known as a flavouring with pickles as in the famous “Dill Pickles”. Medicinally still used as a calmative, helping to reduce wind, cramps, and other digestive ailments.