There are a lot of things you are going to think about with cooking, and this includes taste. Taste is an especially important factor because it is what will decide if you are even going to like the food you are preparing.
The same goes for using certain ingredients. Certain ingredients are going either to make or break the meal, so you want to make sure you know what you are putting into your food.
One ingredient people might wonder about is fennel. In this article, we’ll discover what it is, how much it tastes, if you can eat it raw, and finally, the best ways to use it.
What Is Fennel?
First, we are going to touch on just what fennel is. Not to be confused with a funnel, fennel is a vegetable that can be traced back to the Mediterranean. To be specific, the vegetable is very layered and even has little, small flowers on the end of it.
Also, interestingly enough, it’s related to carrots! It doesn’t look like it is but trusts us when we say it is related to carrots.
You can eat both the actual vegetable and the pollen. Fennel pollen is crushed up to make the spice, which is great when you think of it. It makes use of the entire vegetable and doesn’t waste any of it. As they say, waste want not!
This vegetable has a few benefits, so that’s always a plus. It can help with your heart, keep your skin healthy, assist with maintaining or losing weight, and also, if you have anemia, it could help with that’s well.
Fennel can be bought in your local grocery store. This includes Walmart, so chances are you’ll be able to find it in your area.
When it is doubtful, just ask one of the attendants in the grocery store. They will be more than happy to help direct you to the area where you can find fennel.
How Does Fenneltaste?
You might be wondering what fennel tastes like. It looks like an onion, so you might think it tastes similar.
Remember, it’s related to carrots and not even in the same family as onions. The only similarity they share is looks.
Fennel has a licorice flavor, believe it or not. To get fennel that is sweeter, you should dice or sauté it.
If you want it stronger, then crushing or chopping will be a great way to get that intense flavor.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match with your spices. Throw in some onion, garlic, salt, pepper, etc. The flavors will mix great together with the fennel, depending on how you prepare it.
Can You Eat Fennel Raw?
You can use fennel in your cooking, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can eat it raw. Not all foods are created equal, and some foods eaten raw can make you sick.
Thankfully, fennel is not one of those foods. You can eat the entirety of the fennel plant all the way down to the actual bulb!
Roast it, cook it, grill it, or eat it raw. All methods of eating fennel are not only great but also encouraged.
Ways To Use Fennel
As you can imagine, there are a lot of ways you can use fennel in your meals. We’ve narrowed down a few of them and listened to them here in case you want to use one of them.
- Salads are a great way to use raw fennel. If you are the type of person who loves green salad, consider throwing in some fennel. Not only will it fit in with the color, but it will also give it a nice flavor spike.
- Stocks are something you might use with soup, stew, or some other type of meal where you need a liquid base. Common stocks are vegetable or meat-based stocks, and if you add some fennel into it, it will infuse nicely with all the flavors that are there.
- Drinks are something that fennel can be used in. This even includes cocktails, believe it or not! The licorice flavor will blend well with the alcoholic drink you happen to be drinking.
- Soup is a great food to add fennel to. You can either make a simple soup or make a more complex one, depending on your preference. Either way, the fennel will work nicely!
- Pizza is a food that can use a multitude of ingredients, and one of these does indeed include fennel. It’s a topping you may have never thought of before, but consider adding some to your pizza, even if you’re the type to just prefer cheese.
- Tomato Sauce isn’t something you are going to eat on your own, but rather a food you’ll use with pasta, pizza, etc. Throwing some fennel into the tomato sauce will combine nicely with the tomato’s natural acidity.
Here are the top six ways to incorporate fennel into your recipes. If one of these doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other ones to try!
You will be surprised to find that the licorice taste of fennel does go well with quite a lot of foods out there.
And there we go, all you fennel lovers out there! Now you know not only what fennel is but also how this food happens to taste.
We also covered if you could eat it raw along with ways to cook it, so you will be able to cover all your bases depending on your preferences.
Fennel is one of those ingredients that most of your grocery stores are going to carry.
It doesn’t hurt to check your local grocery store, but on the rare chance that you have to end up shopping around for it, you can also try it online. You can get about anything online these days.
So next time you are out and about, you can pick up some fennel. It’ll be sure to impress your future guests.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.