Fragrant and distinctive, fennel's slightly licorice taste is most often enjoyed with fish. But don't save it for fish nights- try its anise-like flavor in soups and salads, and with grains and vegetables, too.
Fennel is a member of the Umbelliferae family which also includes anise, caraway, coriander, and dill among other plants. Although it has a flavor and aroma reminiscent of licorice, they are not related. Fennel is native to the Mediterranean, but it is now cultivated in many temperate climates.
Fennel adds wonderful flavor to fish, soup, salad, pork dishes, and condiments. It should be added at the end of the cooking cycle to preserve its delicate flavor.
Try fennel with green vegetables, beets, potatoes, lentils, grains, and in stews, sauerkraut, meat and chicken dishes, sauces, dips and dressings, herb butters, cheese spreads, salads, omelets, sweet pickles, cakes, pastries, apple pie, candies, puddings, spiced fruit, and beverages like teas, wines and anisette.