According to Ari Weinzweig of Zingermans, fennel pollen is sweet and pungent, smelling intensely of everything great about fennel and then some. Faith Willinger dubbed it one of the most exciting flavors of central Italian cooking.

Fennel pollen, also known as finnochio, is a typical Tuscan ingredient used throughout the region’s repertoire of dishes. Harvested from wild fennel, its anise aroma is reminiscent of the countryside in Tuscany.

Fennel pollen is collected from wild fennel. Flowers are picked at full bloom, and then dried and screened to assure the sweetest and best flavor possible.

Traditionally used in the salumerie of Italy as a spice for salamis and sausages, it can also be applied as a rub for pork or poultry by mixing it with rosemary and crushed garlic and salt. It combines well with other dried herbs and spices and can also be added to fish soups, or sprinkled on roasted vegetables to add another flavor dimension.