Fennel Seed

General Description

Fennel Seed is the oval, green or yellowish-brown dried fruit of Foeniculum vulgare, a member of the parsley family.

Geographical Sources

Egypt and India.

Traditional Ethnic Uses

Fennel goes well with fish and is used in Italian sausages and some curry powder mixes.

Taste and Aroma Description

Fennel has an anise-like flavor but is more aromatic, sweeter and less pungent.

History/Region of Origin

Fennel is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean area. The name comes from the Greek word for "marathon" because the famous battle at Marathon (490 BC) against the Persians was fought on a field of Fennel. Pliny said that snakes casting off their skins ate Fennel to restore their eyesight.

Storage Tips

Store in cool, dark, dry places.

A Few Ideas to Get You Started

Toasting Fennel Seeds accentuates their flavor. Fennel Seed added to meatballs or meat loaf gives an authentic Italian flavor. Saute Fennel Seed with sliced peppers, onion, and sausage for a quick pasta sauce.