* Asafoetida alternative spelling asafetida, (also known as devil's dung, stinking gum,
asant, food of the gods, giant fennel, Jowani badian, hing and ting) is the
dried latex exuded from the living tap root of several species of Ferula, which
is a perennial herb). The species is native to the mountains of Afghanistan,
and is mainly cultivated in nearby India. Asafoetida has a pungent, unpleasant
smell when raw, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent
This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food
as a condiment, and in pickles. It typically works as a flavor enhancer.
In its pure form, its odour is so strong the
aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby if it is not stored in an
airtight container: Asafoetida reduces the growth of indigenous microflora in
the gut, reducing flatulence.