What's the difference between anise and fennel?

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SKK August 17, 2011
I am addicted to fennel, to fennel fronds, to fennel seed. And to me the whole fennel, shaved or roasted, is heaven. I love the fronds in broth and the little feathers on salad.

There has got to be a poem somewhere about fennel.
 
Greenstuff August 17, 2011
Anise and fennel are fairly similar plants, and since those are common rather than scientific names, there's a lot of overlap in how they are marketed. The plant, sometimes called Florence fennel, has the texture of celery but a slightly licorice-like flavor. Typically, fennel seeds are a little more short and fat, while anise seeds are a little thinner. They have similar licorice-like flavors. Star anise is yet another thing, with a somewhat more spicy flavor.
 
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