Florence fennel is the variety of fennel with a swollen, crunchy base and it is this bulbous part that is prized in the kitchen for salads, deep fried, gratineed etc. All parts of the plant can be eaten, and in some areas of France the flowers are used to refine the taste of pickled capers, cucumbers and olives. When growing, it likes full sun and well drained soil that has been manured, and likes a lot of moisture while growing.
This sweet fennel is not Florence Fennel, the plant that produces those wonderful bulbs, but it does produce leaves and seeds that can be used in cooking. Sprinkle the green leaves over your potato salad with home made mayo, and over those vegetables that you are cooking on the BBQ. Chopped finely they can be mixed with olives, capers and pickled cucumbers.
You will often find green fennel growing wild by the roadside.
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