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Fennel Pollen


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Seems to be en vogue. Anyone have any experience with cooking with it? Does it impart a sweet anise taste? Any recommendations on where to pick it up or mail order? Im in Northern NJ.

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There's an eGullet thread here regarding fennel pollen. I ordered some from The Spice House in the Chicago area. It's very fragrant/aromatic, but after all the hype I admit to being a bit disappointed. Yeah, it smells great, but it's not that much better than fennel seed. I do recommend the Spice House as a reputable source of spices and herbs - very nice folks to deal with.

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Fennel grows well in pots outdoors, can be grown on a balcony, cut back in the winter and it will grow again in the spring. Each plant produces quite a lot of pollen and you just have to be careful to catch it just as it appears and cover the flower heads with a paper bag. Use a string to tie it so it is not too tight. The weight of the bag will bend the stalk. After three days, shake it vigorously and remove the bag carefully.

You will have gotten most of the pollen but will leave enough to attract bees so the seeds will also develop. You can use almost all of the plant, the fronds, the pollen, the seeds and if you dig it up, you can use the bulb.

Florence fennel will produce a good sized bulb the first year but even the common fennel will produce a bulb in the second year and if you keep it going it just gets larger and larger.

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I've heard reports that fennel pollen has a sandy/grainy texture that can be unpleasant. Any truth to this? If so, how does one cope with it?

rien

It might have a little texture, but nothing objectionable.

I use mine primarily as a last-second sprinkle over fish or scallops. Occasionally I combine it with herbes de Provence and salt to coat some pork before roasting. Sometimes I just open the container and smell it.

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I've wanted to buy some for some time but found it almost ludicrously expensive.  My mom grows wild fennel in her back yard and it was blooming and I used some on a dish.  It was amazing, gotta admit.

And where is this magical back yard? I tought wild fennel was a west coast thing.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

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  • 6 years later...

In Melbourne Australia we are one month into summer and the abundant wild fennel plants that grow along the banks of creeks are are starting to flower:

http://cid-d9bb91bf221f7d67.office.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/eGullet/Wild%20fennel%20flowers.jpg

I am keen to try harvesting some pollen but I am not sure whether these flowers are ready for picking. They are quite tiny and seem smaller than many I have seen on the internet. Can anyone advise me whether I should wait?

Edited by LindaK
edited to correct image link (log)
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In Melbourne Australia we are one month into summer and the abundant wild fennel plants that grow along the banks of creeks are are starting to flower:

http://cid-d9bb91bf221f7d67.office.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/eGullet/Wild%20fennel%20flowers.jpg

I am keen to try harvesting some pollen but I am not sure whether these flowers are ready for picking. They are quite tiny and seem smaller than many I have seen on the internet. Can anyone advise me whether I should wait?

If you click on the link you can see the picture now. I'd probably just tap the flower and see if pollen seems to come off.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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