Is fennel powder just ground up fennel seeds? I do not think I have ever seen the former for sale. On the other hand I have a lifetime supply ( recently purchased) of fennel seeds.
I think it's actually fennel pollen. Also found it underwhelming...not much flavor.
You can sub ground fennel, but start small, taste, add more if needed.
I've had good luck with fennel pollen---I use it in my porchetta. But like most dried spices with age it loses potency fairly quickly. If you can, buy it small amounts.
I guess I got a bad jar. As with all spices, not only buy small amounts but in a place with good turnover.
I love fennel seeds, but find fennel pollen a bit overpowering. If fresh, it has much stronger flavor then the seeds. And if it is not fresh, it is sort of like a dead powder :)
I really like fennel powder because in some recipes the seed flavor is just too strong. I also use it in porchetta but also with chicken and in other recipes where it calls for fennel but I want to tone down the flavor a little. I buy it online from Penzeys.