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Fennel originates in the Mediterranean but grows well in many climates. It has a strong aniseed/liquorice flavour that can have a bit of a marmite effect on people: you either love it or hate it. But, there are so many different ways to prepare fennel, both raw and cooked, that can appeal to all taste buds. Cooking it reduces its aniseed flavour making it sweeter and more palatable for those that find the taste too strong.
All parts of the fennel plant, including the bulb, stalk, leaves, seeds and pollen, are edible.
Fennel pairs well with citrus, olives, tomatoes, apples, kohlrabi, spinach and salad leaves and makes a light and fresh accompaniment to fish.