Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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asafoetida a dried gum resin which is obtained from the rhizome or taproots of some of the species of the giant fennels, plants of the genus Ferula, particularly Ferula assafoetida. These are perennial, umbelliferous plants which grow in a wide arc from the Mediterranean to C. Asia.

The three species which are used to produce the spice asafoetida are Ferula assafoetida, F. foetida, and F. narthex, of which the first two at least are native to both Iran and Afghanistan, while the third is known in Afghanistan and is sometimes called Chinese hing.