Thursday, June 21, 2012

Funny Fennel

Isn't fennel a funny little plant?  Shown above are two types that made it into the pot tonight.  The back spindly one is bronze fennel.  The front lighter green one is the kind of fennel that produces the white, edible bulbs sold in grocery stores.  Both are very nice to munch on while in the garden.

To brew, I took my kitchen shears and chopped up the fennel coarsely, then shoved it into the pot.  I added boiling water and steeped for 10 minutes. The liquor morphed into a gorgeous shade of celadon!  The light was softening and I couldn't get a good photo, so you'll have to trust me. 

The aroma of the first 10-minute brew surprised me.  It was vegetal/roasty, like some green teas.  I was even more surprised to find the taste to be very sweet.  The "licorice flavor" was not at all overpowering.  An interesting combination!  (I like it.)
Brewing for 20 minutes produced a (slightly) sweeter cup, and the vegetal/roasty aroma remained.  In my herb book, fennel is noted for being a good stomach and intestinal remedy. 

Do you like fennel?  Do you drink it as an herbal tea?


Alex Zorach said...

I love fennel; I have never thought of steeping it as an herbal tea though; this is intriguing.

I am not a huge fan of the licorice / anise flavor, but I think of fennel as being somewhere in-between on the spectrum of anise to dill, and I like dill very much. That is, I think fennel has more of a light, fresh, cooling quality than anise or licorice.

I could see this being very good. I do really love fennel; when my parents have grown it, it's grown very vigorously, giving us more than we could possibly use. By contrast, I find dill tends to grow feebly in our garden, and we never have enough of it to satisfy our needs.

In Southern California, there was wild, naturalized fennel (it is not native) growing everywhere; it would even come up in cracks in the sidewalk and vacant lots.

Steph said...

Alex - in my reading, I learned that fennel and dill are cousins. Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments!

La Tea Dah said...

I love fennel, but it isn't easy to find in our local supermarkets. I think I'd enjoy this tea very much.

Thanks for the idea. Enjoy a great week-end!

Irina said...

I like fennel and I am drinking it at the moment as I am nursing my baby. I used to take it occasionally to help with digestion.

Marilyn said...

Again, not sure I would like it, but worth a try.