Hathor - question - is fennel same as anise? I saw
anise in the grocery today, and wanted to make your
braised fennel for TG....
"Anise" is to "fennel" what "yam" is to "sweet potato."
Just to be utterly clear:
Since many supermarkets apply the word "anise" to fennel bulbs in their produce department, assume that recipes calling for fennel bulbs, stalks and/or fronds can be prepared with the vegetable your local Giant/Safeway/Kroger's/Stop & Shop may be calling "anise." That's why pictures of fennel online look like the anise you picked up in the store.
The word "anise" according to Lynne Rossetto Kasper is inaccurately used to refer to fennel bulbs in grocery stores and supermarkets. Same goes with "yams," an African tubular that is not identical to the sweet potatoes that get mashed and buried under gooey marshmallows or syrupy pecans in some homes on Thanksgiving in the U.S.
GG's useful link was educational for me since I had been taught that "anise" is simply a different word for "fennel" when it comes to both the bulbs and the seeds.
As for the question regarding uses of the feathery fronds: If they're in good shape, use them as a garnish, chopping them a bit or at least shredding them so they resemble dill. Pretty sprinkled over dishes. They add flavor the same way a fresh herb does.
If you're shaving fennel for a salad, you usually cut off the stalks and the root end, leaving the core intact (just be sure to cover cut surfaces in lemon juice quickly to thwart discoloration). When braising fennel, often recipes instruct you to remove the core. In any case, reserve the parts of the fennel you're not using. Wash, chop and freeze. Especially when you have lots of leek greens, etc. around the house, you can pull them out of the freezer and use them to make a vegetarian stock.
Edited by Pontormo, 21 November 2006 - 09:20 AM.