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Fennel vs Anise seeds

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Is there a difference? How do you use each? Are they interchangeable?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 7

Fennel and anise seeds are the pretty much the same, flavor wise, even though they are two different plants. Shucks - one is an annual, one a perennial, but I can't remember which is which. I don't use the seeds that much, mostly fresh fennel bulbs which I treat like onions. Fennel seeds are a key ingredient in most southern Italian style sausages.

 

I almost picked fennel as the challenge ingredient for the month.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #3 of 7

Fennel is the annual. I grow it here but have found that sometime they do re-seed themselves.

post #4 of 7

I think star anise is stronger in flavor, or maybe pungent is a better term, and less sweet as well compared to fennel seed. Fennel seed toasts into a nice snack. Anise toasts into a good flavor but I don't want to ingest one whole. 

 

For those reasons, I'd reach for star anise for flavoring liquids like broth and wassail but remove before serving. Fennel is something I'd use in things whole, and again, mostly western cuisine. 

 

The exception is Indian cuisine where fennel seed has some fun use. I'm quite a fan of Madhur Jaffrey's Cabbage to taste like Fennel.  Much cheaper than fennel too. I don't use as much oil as listed in the recipe. 

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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

I think star anise is stronger in flavor, or maybe pungent is a better term, and less sweet as well compared to fennel seed. Fennel seed toasts into a nice snack. Anise toasts into a good flavor but I don't want to ingest one whole.

 

For those reasons, I'd reach for star anise for flavoring liquids like broth and wassail but remove before serving. Fennel is something I'd use in things whole, and again, mostly western cuisine.

 

The exception is Indian cuisine where fennel seed has some fun use. I'm quite a fan of Madhur Jaffrey's Cabbage to taste like Fennel.  Much cheaper than fennel too. I don't use as much oil as listed in the recipe.

Star anise and anise are not the same.  Fennel and anise seeds have very similar flavor profiles.  I feel as if fennel has a slightly more "green" flavor and is more mild.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
 Fennel and anise seeds have very similar flavor profiles.  I feel as if fennel has a slightly more "green" flavor and is more mild.

I would agree that anise is very similar to fennel, but like much like star anise, it is more "pungent". It also lends itself extremely well to both red meat and spiced biscotti, for what its worth. :lips:

post #7 of 7

A favorite dish of mine is shortribs braised in dark beer with fennel bulb and tart cherries.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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