A dried seed that tastes like anise and is very aromatic. It comes from a hardy and perennial plant from the Foeniculum genus. One of the spices in panch phoron, a Bengali/Indian 5 spice mix.
Fennel is sometimes used as a flavoring in natural toothpastes.
It turns grey as it ages. For cooking, green seeds are best.
It is native to the mediterranean region
Aromatic, anise-flavored spice, brown or green in colour when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. Fennel seeds are the ripe, dried, gray-green striped to yellowish brown schizocarpic fruits (4 - 10.5 mm long, 2 - 4 mm wide) of the fennel bush, which is of Mediterranean origin and belongs to the Umbelliferae family.
Fennel seeds ar 4-8 cm long with a slightly curved shape
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
For cooking, green seeds are optimal.
Fennel is also used as a flavoring in some natural toothpaste.
For adults, fennel seeds can relax the intestines and reduce bloating caused by digestive disorders. Fennel seed is used as a seasoning in bread and pastries and in candies and also for medicinal purposes (fennel oil and fennel tea for infants).
Conserving and Storing
"Combed" fennel seed is harvested by hand or using a comb. "Straw" fennel seed is harvested after the first frost and is therefore of lower grade.
Fennel seed may be kept for approx. 12 months if the recommended storage conditions are complied with.