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Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
No, but many people use them interchangeably. Fennel seeds are larger and coarser in texture with a woody, anise flavor. Anise seeds are smaller, with a slightly sweeter, more delicate fragrance.
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
Nope. Similar flavor, but different. Fennel is milder IMO than anise.
Thanks to you both. I love that you people are up at this hour thinking about these things just like I am. Crazy food people unite!
Amanda, I look forward to being able to buy just the few tablespoons of fennel seeds I need at the new Rockville WFM. Yippee!
Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.
No. I found this out last month when I was developing my recipe for basil ice cream. Basil itself was not enough to make the ice cream taste "basil-y" so I added some ground seeds I found in the kitchen for some of that extra licorice flavor that basil has. It was the perfect touch! I had labeled the container "aniseed" but the chef told me the next day it was actually fennel seed.
As a vegan, I love to use fennel to make things taste like sausage. Aniseed is stronger and sweeter and I like toasting the seeds in a warm pan before using them in a recipe. Another look-alike is caraway. They are the smallest of all those seeds and are most often used to flavor rye bread.
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