Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a plant species in the genus Foeniculum (treated as the sole species in the genus by most botanists). It is a member of the family Apiaceae (formerly the Umbelliferae). It is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is generally considered indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, but has become widely naturalised in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks. It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses, and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable. Fennel is widely cultivated, both in its native range and elsewhere, for its edible, strongly flavored leaves and fruits, which are often mistermed “seeds”. Its aniseed flavor comes from anethole, an aromatic compound also found in anise and star anise, and its taste and aroma are similar to theirs, though usually not as strong.
Whole Fennel: Similar to Anise Seed, sweet and delicate.
Uses: Fish, sausage, liquors, baking, breads and cakes.
Fennel Seed has a delicate flavor; light and sweet, similar to anise. Fennel has always been considered an aid to digestion, and many people still drink fennel tea. The seed is often used with fish dishes. It can be used in a curing mix for salmon or bluefish. Some cultures add it to cheese. Good Italian sausage absolutely requires fennel.
1.2 oz. & 3.4 oz.