Fenugreek seeds. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Credit: Humbads
Trigonella foenum-graecum, Fenugreek, is in the Fabaceae, the Pea or Legume Family.
Botanical illustration: Fenugreek
Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of the polysaccharide galactomannan. They are also a source of saponins such as diosgenin, yamogenin, gitogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogens. Other bioactive constituents of fenugreek include mucilage, volatile oils, and alkaloids such as choline and trigonelline.[bit.ly]
Fenugreek is frequently used in the production of flavoring for artificial maple syrups. The taste of toasted fenugreek, like cumin, is additionally based on substituted pyrazines. By itself, fenugreek has a somewhat bitter taste.
- Fenugreek, Wikipedia
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
N.J. Fenugreek Seeds, Source of Mysterious Syrup Odor, Michael Barbaro, New York Times, 2009.02.05
Maple Mystery Solved (It's New Jersey's Fault), Elizabeth Benjamin, New York Daily News, 2009.02.05