Fennel

Can be eaten raw or cooked and has a distinct aniseed flavour.

Alternative Name

Finocchio, Florence fennel

Scientific Name

Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce

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Fennel is a light green coloured, short, bulbous, celery-like shoot. Its feathery green leaves are used as a herb, the bulb can be eaten raw or cooked, and its seeds are also used. Fennel has a characteristic aniseed flavour and aroma.

Information for farmers+

Harvesting
The edible parts are the white, enlarged basal parts of the leaf sheathes that are fleshy, turgid and crispy. Special attention must be given to the mechanical harvesting and to postharvest handling because fennel is highly sensitive to physical injury. Growth after harvest can cause the leaf sheathes to loosen and separate. Browning of cut surfaces is a problem with fresh-cut fennel.

Postharvest storage temperature
Fennel stored at 0°C with 90–95% relative humidity can last for 2 weeks. Freezing results in water-soaked spots on the outside and decay of internal young sheathes.

Controlled atmosphere storage
No CA application has been reported.

Ethylene sensitivity
Ethylene production is low and no data exist on sensitivity to ethylene.

Humidity storage
Fennel stored at 0°C with 90–95% relative humidity can last for 2 weeks.

Disease & infection
Free water inside the plant can promote bacterial growth.

Preparation & Storage+
Separate stalks from bulb and keep both parts separately in containers in fridge.
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Veggy tip

Save the stalks of fennel for using in soups, stocks and stews, and use the leaves as a herb. Also try slicing the bulb finely into a salad or cook whole on grill.