In this article, we're explaining exactly what you can expect when you first try fennel seed. We'll talk about taste, texture, recipe substitutes and tips for adding fennel seed to your cooking.
Let's take a look...
What Does Fennel Seed Taste Like?
Fennel seed has a very strong, herbal flavor. It tastes very much like anise. Indeed, anise and fennel are part of the same family, the Apiaceae family.
Fennel seed is perfumy and a little bit bitter, but it leaves a long-lasting sweetness once it's been chewed. For this reason, fennel seed is added to many natural toothpastes and used as a breath freshener in India.
Fennel Seed Texture
Dried fennel seed texture is a little bit tough and chewy. It's not difficult to eat—it's just not soft. However, these seeds will soften up and get chewier while you eat them.
You can also saute fennel seed to release the aromatic flavors. This will also soften the texture. Alternatively, you can roast fennel seed, which will make it crunchier.
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Does Fennel Taste Like Black Licorice?
If you know what black licorice tastes like, you pretty much know what fennel seed tastes like. And you know if you'll like it.
Fennel seed, black licorice and anise all have very similar flavors. They share that same medicinal quality that can't really be compared to anything else you've tried.
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Can I Substitute Fennel Seed for Anise?
You can certainly substitute fennel seed for anise and vice versa. If you do use fennel seeds in place of anise, you can use equal measurements in your recipe.
Licorice root can also be swapped out for anise or fennel seed. With licorice root, you'll need a bit of a different approach to food prep. You can boil it and strain the liquid to use in your recipe. They also make licorice root powders, which are probably easiest to work with in place of fennel or anise.
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What Does Fennel Seed Go With?
There are many unique ways to use fennel seed in your cooking and baking. Did you know that you can use it to make vegan sausage? Don't forget about vegan sweets, too.
This video will show you all the steps involved in making homemade vegan sausages with vital wheat gluten, fennel seeds, sage and molasses. When's breakfast?
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It's time to make vegan fennel fig chocolates with cacao butter, ground fennel seeds, figs and vanilla beans. These are sure to impress your friends and family.
Further Reading: What Does Fennel Seed Taste Like?
Fennel seeds really do taste like black licorice. For licorice lovers, this is good news; for those who don't enjoy black licorice, not so much. If you're not sure, try using fennel seeds first in a tried-and-true vegan breakfast sausage recipe. Then you can get creative and combine fennel with vegan chocolate fare for a taste unlike anything you've ever experienced.
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