Bee sitting on a flowering fennel
Food - Drink
What Is Fennel Pollen And How Can It Be Used?
Fennel pollen comes from the flowers of the fennel plant, harvested from wild fennel in the Italian Mediterranean or the western United States, according Bon Appétit. This pollen has been nicknamed "the spice of the angels" due to its rich gold hue, incredibly versatile and unique flavor profile, and its versatility in cooking and baking.
Fennel pollen also has a bright and sweet taste that is often described as a little citrusy, but also has a richness and potency with hints of anise, just like fennel itself. The complexity of flavors make it a catch-all spice: you can add it to savory dishes to brighten and sweeten them, or to baked goods and sweets to make them more complex.
One way to start cooking with fennel pollen is by simply sprinkling it on top of meat, like using it as a dry rub for chicken. This spice goes well with other Mediterranean ingredients like quinoa, bulgur, or couscous, and the zesty, spiced fennel pollen is also a fantastic addition to baked goods like muffins, bread, and fruit pies.
You can find quality fennel pollen online on sites like Amazon, where well-reviewed fennel pollen seller Pollen Ranch sells a 0.5-ounce container for $11. For Italian-sourced fennel pollen, try Ritorovo Selections on Amazon at $20 for 0.5 ounces — fennel pollen is expensive, but you only need a small amount to taste it in a dish.