These baby fennels are from Portugal, and they are slender bulbs with long stalks and feathery leaves. The stalks are green, and the leaves resemble dill. The bulb has a pale green to white color, and sometimes has a curved shape. Baby fennels are aromatic, exuding fresh anise seed notes. They’re crunchy, with a flavor that is subtly sweet—herbaceous and licorice notes, with spicy, citrusy hints.
All of the baby fennel is edible, from its bulb, to its stalk, to its leaves. The leaves (or fronds) can be used as aromatic garnish for roasted meats and vegetables, and cocktails. The bulbs and stalks can be shaved or chopped, and used in salads, or in curries, soups, stews, and pastas.
From Ancient Greece comes the legend of the great battle between the Persians and the Greeks. This took place in a town called Marathon, in a field full of wild fennel. When the Greeks emerged victorious, they harvested the stalks and wove them together as a symbol of victory. Legend has it that the Greek herald Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens to announce the victory. This is how the modern marathon was born. Marathon means “a place full of fennel.”
Place your fennel in an airtight container, and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Consume within 5 days.