Fennel is both an herb and a spice. All parts of fennel plant are edible
like the roots, stalks and leaves with the spice coming from dried
seeds. A native to the Mediterranean, fennel is an ancient and common
plant known to ancient Greeks. It spread throughout Europe via Rome. It
is also grown in South Africa, Australia and South America.
Fennel is a dried ripe fruit of a perennial aromatic herbaceous plant,
which grows in mild climates. It is approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inches long
and has a green food colour. They are oblong, elliptical, straight and
slightly curved with prominent ridges. It smells and tastes like amise
with slight note of camphor. It has long been used in South Africa and
China for its medicinal value and is used as a multi-purpose spice in
food, medicines, liquors and perfume. It is also exported in the form of
seeds, powder and volatile oil.