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Market Haul

Market Haul: Fennel

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A strong, licorice-like taste makes fennel a distinctive ingredient in dishes of all kinds.

Like most foods with a pungent flavor, people seem to either love or hate fennel.  Personally, I love incorporating this edible bulb into my dishes, but I make sure to do so sparingly – the strong anise (licorice-like) flavor can easily overpower a recipe if you're not careful.

In addition to its many culinary uses, fennel is known to have healing properties. Across the world, it's been used in various medicinal capacities, including aiding digestion, improving eyesight, decreasing hypertension, stimulating the production of breast milk, repelling insects and curing chronic coughs.

How to choose it
Look for fennel bulbs that are firm, with no soft spots or brown spots. They should be green or white-green in color. If the fronds or leaves are still attached, they should look fresh, not wilted.

How to use it
Fennel adds strong flavor to salmon, pasta, pizza, potatoes, chutney, and even pork meatballs. This simple salad matches the pungent taste of fennel well with the citrus flavor of blood oranges. Add a savory note to dessert with these preparations for semolina cake and lemon tarts.

How to store it
Store fennel in a paper bag in the fridge. It should stay fresh for three to five days.


Share your recipes and tips for using fennel in the comments section below. 

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About the Author
Amy Gordon
Amy Gordon
Amy Gordon is a Wharton graduate who prefers flip flops to business suits. She writes about travel, food, wellness, and social consciousness. more
  • Frances N. 5 years ago
    I believe I will get some this week.
  • Seth E. 5 years ago
    I love fennel! Never used it in cooking because I love eating it raw too much to have any left to use in recipes!
  • joanna l. 5 years ago
    We love fennel in our house! We traditionally eat the raw bulbs after a big holiday meal to digest (we have been doing this as long as I can remember)