fennel seed

whole
4.9
based on 12 reviews
try me sample
0.25 oz
75¢
pinch jar
coming soon
NOTIFY ME
refill
1.1 oz
$3
large refill
6 oz
$11
view packaging
VARIANTS
whole
ground
Noted for its mild licorice flavor, fennel is warming and sweet with a slight woodsy bite. The spice is actually a schizocarp of the fennel plant, which means it is a dry fruit that splits into single seeds when ripe. This fragrant seed is yellow-green, oval and grooved.

Despite the similarities between fennel and anise, anise seed is a different species and it should be noted that the anise spice is more pungent and it imparts a stronger licorice taste than fennel. Fennel has a more grassy aroma and woody flavor with a more subtle licorice taste; it works well in savory dishes and sauces.

Whole fennel seed is found in many meat dishes. Its aromatic and warm licorice flavor adds subtle complexity to sausages as well as a mild sweetness to sauces and baked goods.
QUICK INFO
fennel seed , whole
PLANT PART
fruit / seed (schizocarp)
PROCESSING / FORM
whole
BOTANICAL NAME
Foeniculum vulgare
VOLUME
1.5 oz (43 g) per 1/2 cup
ORIGIN
Egypt
BOTANICAL NAME
Foeniculum vulgare
AKA
fennel
This "seed" is actually the dried fruit of the hardy perennial herb Foeniculum vulgare. Though native to the shores of the Mediterranean it has since propagated world-wide wild in pastures and along roadsides, as well as having been cultivated as an ornamental herb in gardens, its robust growth has led it to being classified as invasive in both America and Australia. Fennel seed contains the aromatic compound anethole. This gives it the licorice flavor it shares with other warming spices: star anise, and anise seed which also contain this compound.
One of the oldest known spices, uses and even stories about fennel are found in almost every age. The town of Marathon, Greece—site of the famous ancient battle in which heavily outnumbered Athenians defeated the invading Persians—is reputed to be named for the abundance of fennel in the area. "Marathon" or "marathos" is from the greek for fennel and famed Pheidippides ran to Athens to deliver the news of this victory carrying a fennel stalk.

It has also been infused as a tea to give courage to soldiers before battle; by Egyptians as insect repellent; in the Middle Ages hung over doorways to ward off evil spirits as well as added to aged meats to disguise their spoilage, and during Lent to ward off hunger during fasts.

A cultivar of fennel, called Florence fennel (also finocchio in Italian) grows into a bulb at the leaf base and is eaten as a vegetable.
CONFUSIONS

A lick of licorice
Anise and star anise are not the same spice, nor are they related species despite the similar name and flavor profile. They do both contain the organic compound anethole, which gives them their similar licorice flavor.

Fennel is another spice that contains anethole. It is a seed that is often confused with anise—due to its similar flavor profile and also to its similar appearance. Fennel seed is considerably larger and often brighter in color than anise seed. Anise seed, in addition to being smaller, also tends to have a small bit of stem "tail" attached to one end; whereas this happens only occasionally with fennel, it is much more frequent in anise seed.

Since anise seed is more expensive to produce than star anise, star anise has surpassed anise in production for anethole extraction and for commercial use in flavoring food products. Anethole is reputedly multiple times sweeter than sugar with the distinction of having a pleasant flavor at higher concentrations.

USAGE HINT

Crush lightly before using fennel seeds whole. When crushed the essential oils are released increasing the amount of flavor imparted to a dish.

QUICK FACT

In India fennel mixed with other spices and often candied is used in an after-dinner digestive aid and breath freshener called mukhwas.

 
other
RECOMMENDATIONS
4.8
whole petals
Dried rose petals have a full sweet-scented aroma. Simple syrup or other infusions with these rose petals will yield a delicate fruity taste and a heady floral bouquet; an aromatic addition to every thing from baked confections to boozy beverages.
TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
0.2 oz - JAR$3
0.2 oz - REFILL$2
1.2 oz - REFILL$6
TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
5.0
whole
These oblong light-brown seeds are distinctively earthy, musky, and almost charred in flavor. They are aromatic and respond particularly well to toasting.
TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
1.5 oz - JAR$5
1.5 oz - REFILL$4
8 oz - REFILL$13
TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
4.9
Cassia
chips
Chopped cassia cinnamon chips have a spicy warmth and familiar sweetness. Use in DIY mulling spice, chai tea, and pickling spice mixes.
TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
1.2 oz - JAR$6
1.2 oz - REFILL$5
6 oz - REFILL$18
TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
4.9
green pods
whole pods
Aromatic and flavorful, whole green cardamom pods can be lightly crushed to further enhance flavor in cooking.
TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
1.3 oz - JAR$10
1.3 oz - REFILL$9
6 oz - REFILL$24
TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
5.0
whole
Whole nutmeg is a hard ovate seed kernel that is used grated or ground as a warm, slightly sweet spice with a pungent fragrance.
1.7 oz - REFILL$5
6 oz - REFILL$12
1.7 oz - REFILL $5
related
REVIEWS (12)