Traditional Uses: Fennel goes well with fish and is used in Italian sausages and some curry powder mixes. Fennel has an aniselike flavor but is more aromatic, sweeter and less pungent.
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.
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Toasting Fennel Seeds accentuates their flavor. Fennel Seed added to any meat dish such as meatballs or meat loaf gives an authentic Italian flavor. Saute Fennel Seed with sliced peppers, onion, and sausage for a quick pasta sauce.
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Taste: Seeds taste like licorice when chewed upon.
How to consume? Fennel seeds may be chewed upon after every meal or even more often. About 2-3 gms may be had at a time and chewed upon. Daily intake about 7 gms. (or 1ï¿½ teaspoon). Fennel seeds may be yellowish or green in appearance. While the yellow variety is usually used in cooking, the greener variety is softer, naturally sweeter.
All the above-ground parts of the fennel plant are edible. Fennel "seeds" are actually whole fruits, the most aromatic seeds found in the center of the seed head. In seed, a bright green color indicates quality. The herb should be stored in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry place.
Fennel and Cooking
Fennel nicely complements almost any kind of fish preparation. Dry stalks of fennel placed under fish or shrimp being grilled or barbecued gives them a wonderful flavor. Fennel features in several Italian recipes such as tomato sauces and sausages. It is a key ingredient in several spice and herb blends such as Indian curry powders, Chinese Five Spices and the French Herbs De Province. The seeds give a distinctive flavor to baked goodies like bread, cakes and cookies.
The fruit or "seeds," dried and used whole or ground.
Used in cooking whole or ground as an excellent spice.
Fennel seed oil should never be given to infants or young children because of the danger of spasms of the throat.
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