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How did Saunf become an essential part of mouth fresheners?

From ancient times, Indians have had a deep-seated appreciation for culinary delights that tantalize the senses. Among the factors that influence food selection, aroma holds a prominent position. In this regard, fennel seeds, or Saunf as they are commonly known in India, play a significant role. India boasts an impressive production of dried fennel seeds, with an estimated 1.4 million metric tons currently in stock.

Saunf has been traditionally used as a mouth freshener, and its incorporation into various mouth freshener preparations across India has been a long-standing practice. The combination of Saunf with other ingredients enhances the aroma and taste of these mouth fresheners. For centuries, dried fennel seeds have been an integral part of mouth fresheners, intensifying their flavors and creating an enduring freshness.

Food anthropologists in India emphasize the indispensable role of Saunf in Indian cuisine. While candies and chocolates have gained popularity, Saunf’s position as a mouth freshener remains unchallenged. However, the consumption patterns of Saunf have evolved over time. Today, sugar-coated Saunf is a popular choice, offering a sweet initial taste that gradually gives way to the authentic flavor of Saunf.

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