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A Chef’s Guide: Why You Should Be Cooking With Fennel Pollen

1 week agoWords by Mr Nicholas Balfe

Photograph courtesy of Salon

As I’m sure you know by now, I have been known to enjoy a bit of foraging in my spare time… Friends and family members will occasionally (read – always) poke fun, but the goading turns to praise when they get to sample all manner of wild flowers, berries and greens. I do realise, however, that spending your Sunday traipsing through overgrown grass isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, nor is it always practical given the constraints of modern life – especially if you live in a city.

Fennel pollen, despite perhaps not being the most ubiquitous of wild ingredients, is definitely worth spending a little time and energy searching for, however. The pollen – or flowers – of the fennel plant are vivid green when young, then bright yellow and bursting with sweetness when they reach their peak. They are the epitome of summertime flavour. They can be tricky to find in the UK, although I have spotted them recently in parks, canal sides and open spaces across London, as well as on coastal paths and seaside areas on recent visits to the Kent, Sussex and Dorset coast.

Mr Nicholas Balfe