The scientific name of the fennel seed is Foeniculum Vulgare and it belongs to the Apiaceae family. Also known as ‘bulbous fennel’, it was widely used for its properties and benefits as far back as ancient times. In the Middle Ages, the fennel seed was the Italians’ favourite herb. In the 17th century, its use spread to northern Europe, especially Belgium and the north of France.
Nowadays, fennel is grown and found in the wild all over the world, although it originates from the Mediterranean Basin.
Fennel grows in fresh, light, rich, deep and humus-rich soils and the plant can reach a height of 40-60cm. To grow properly, fennel needs sunlight and a mild climate.
It usually blooms from early July to late September. It is harvested when dried, usually between April and late October.
Fennel is rich in micronutrients. Whether in seed or powder form, fennel can be used in all meals from starters to desserts.
It is very popular in Mediterranean cuisine because of its sweet and aniseed flavour, which goes great with fish, seafood, white meat, apple-based desserts and sauces.