Fennel is native to the Mediterranean but found all over the world. There are two types: sweet and bitter. The most common here in the US is bitter fennel. A member of the parsley family, fennel seeds are closely related to anise, asafoetida, caraway, chervil, coriander, culantro, dill, and of course parsley. Fennel's seeds are considered a spice, while the edible roots, stalks and leaves of the plant are considered an herb. Fennel seeds can be used in many recipes in combination with cinnamon, cumin, fenugreek and Sechuan peppercorns. Fennel goes very well with beets, lentils, potatoes, in sauerkraut, soups and stews, pasta dishes, meat chicken, pork or fish, sauces and herb butters, dips and dressings, salads, omelets, breads, apple pie, cakes, pastries, puddings, and spiced fruit.
- 1 oz