Fennel was cultivated by the ancient Romans for its aromatic fruit (seeds) and succulent, edible shoots, and was well known to ancient herbalists. Pliny had much faith in its beneficial properties, recording 22 recipes for its use. Historical references show that many of the old herbalists believed in its strengthening effect on the sight.
Its primary use in this day and age is culinary. In history, its unique flavor and aroma helped overcome the taste and smell of tainted meats and fish. One of Fennel’s greatest attributes is its ability to make the unpleasant taste of many herbs more tolerable, particularly to children’s taste buds. Its aromatic quality also gives it some activity as a catalyst for other herbs.
Fennel is a plant that is said to be disliked by fleas, and the powdered herb has been reported to have the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables.
Caution: These are not like the Fennel seeds you may find on a spice rack in a supermarket. This is much fresher and therefore has a richer flavor.
Uses: Fennel seeds are a spice. For that reason, we keep it in the kitchen as all other food ingredients. It's mostly used for internal applications: teas, tinctures, capsules, food recipes, etc. Our two favorite uses are in teas and meals. Like many other bulk herbs, we add it to many dishes (salads, meat dishes, soups, stews, etc.) in small amounts for added nutrition and fiber. Fennel can be used to benefit men, women and children.
Voice of Experience: Like most spices, Fennel seeds are a potent flavor enhancer. It can be used as often as you like, but a little goes a long way. Chewing on a pinch of Fennel after a meal will not only taste good, but was also believed by ancients to aid digestion, while freshening your breath.
Storage: It should be kept in an airtight container and stored in a dark, dry, and cool place. Refrigeration or freezing is not necessary.
Note: For culinary use, fennel seeds are considered safe in pregnancy and nursing. Please check with your healthcare practitioner if using in larger quantities if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medications.
I love fennel. It is what makes sausage-sausage! So when I saw it here, I bought it immediately. I was surprised how much fennel .5lb is!!! It will last awhile.
I immediately made 2lbs of beef sausage with it and it was delicious. Everything I made with the beef sausage was absolutely great! Love it!