In a nutshell: Wonderful wild Fennel seeds collected on the northeastern Aegean island of Chios.
Fennel grows wild on many Greek islands, and the fresh leaves are used abundantly in many local dishes. The plant also produces seeds that closely mimic the fragrance of aniseed. In addition to their persistent liquorice flavour, wild fennel seeds are pleasantly fresh, with hints of menthol, reminiscent of caraway.
In Mediterranean cooking, fennel is often paired with tomatoes or lemons, used as a base in vegetable dishes, and is great with fish or pulses. Wild fennel marries especially well with salted breads, focaccia or home-made crackers. It can also be served, in small quantities, in shortbread recipes or scones. Coupled with herbs and lemon zest, Greek fennel enhances roast pork or lamb. Steeped in hot water, It’s also a soothing drink.
How to use:
- Add to pork baked with feta cheese.
- Sprinkle over a freshly baked fennel gratin.
- Add to a dry rub for BBQ'ing lamb chops.
About Épices de Cru
Épices de Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.