Fennel Friday actually came about because of Fennel Pollen. I reviewed Pollen Ranch’s Fennel Pollen and fell in love. Deeply, madly in love with the aromatic flavors, the distinct finishing touch it adds to dishes and, most importantly, the versatility of fennel pollen. We eat lots of veggies in our house and fennel pollen takes them from yummy roasted veggies to simply smashing veggies!
This happens when you use fennel pollen – it elevates dishes.
Don’t just take my word for it, let me share some of the comments made by Chefs and Foodie Gurus:
The food writer Peggy Knickerbocker said “If angels sprinkled a spice from their wings, this would be it.” (Saveur, May/June 2000)
Chef Anne Burrell calls it her “Super Secret Flavor Weapon” in her new book – Cook Like a Rock Star and uses it to crust pork chops. (staggering idea!)
Faith Willinger dubbed it as “one of the most exciting flavors of central Italian cooking.
from Michael Ruhlman on Fennel and Dill Pollen:
I consider very few ingredients “secret” but these have been game changers for chefs for years and are hard for most of us to find. Now they’re not.
These pollens are very potent, intense and powerful finishing devices. They give a whole range of dishes a magical pop that makes you say “wow, where did that come from?”
So – What is Fennel Pollen anyway?
From Pollen Ranch – THE BEST purveyors of Fennel Pollen:
The fennel plant grows wild on the sunny inland and coastal fields of California. With its umbels of tiny yellow flowers and dark green or bronze wispy leaves, fennel is an extremely aromatic plant with many uses – the most intriguing and flavorful being fennel pollen as a spice. It has been around for centuries and was even admired by the Greeks and Romans as a gift from the Gods. It was thought to bring knowledge along with longevity of life.
Fennel flowers are hand picked and laid out to dry. They are then screened many times to remove the stems and gather the pollen. It is kept frozen to assure freshness. Flowers are picked at the peak of their bloom so the best pollen is obtained. This is a very lengthy process as the pollen is also checked for mold and other contaminants. It can take an entire month before the first batch of pollen is cleaned, checked, and ready to be warehoused.
Are you ready to try Fennel Pollen????
We compiled some Fabulous Fennel Pollen Recipes for our Fennel Pollen-Palooza today …
**send us your links or add to the list!