Ingredient Glossary - Fennel
There are numberous cultivated varieties of fennel, including the showy bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var., purpureum)-which has feathery copper-colored leaves, blushed with a dark purple tinge-and Florence fennel, or finocchio (F. vulgare var azoricum)-which swells at the base of the stem to form an edible bulb. Fennel seed is a small, greenish-brown seed from the "common fennel," one of the two fennel types, and used to flavor cookies, Italian sausages, roasts and liqueurs. Florence fennel, the other type, is a celerylike plant with leathery foliage and a bulbous base that's eaten as a vegetable, sauteed or raw in salads. FENNEL is another herb which has a hot, sweet flavor. Fennel comes in seed form and adds zest to pies and baked fruit desserts.