what does fennel seed taste like

Are you wondering, “What does fennel seed taste like?

Were you reviewing the recipe for your sautéed spicy mushroom that you plan to make next weekend and suddenly came across the word “fennel seeds”?

For starters, fennel, a member of the Apiaceae family, is an herbaceous plant that grows up to two meters in height. It has bright green leaves and umbels of tiny yellow flowers.

The seeds from this flowering plant are often used as a spice or flavoring in food products. Fennel seed is also used for medicinal purposes such as treating indigestion, nausea, and gas pain.

This kind of seed can simply be purchased in supermarkets and grocery stores, making it a convenient and easy to find ingredient.

However, how does it taste like? Why is it so popular? What’s the main use of this seed?

We understand you might have a lot of questions in mind, so we made sure to address them by one with the help of this article.

To learn more, let’s head on below!

What Does Fennel Seed Taste like?

fennel seed

This may come as a surprise to some, but fennel seeds are also labeled as sweet cumin or large cumin due to their resemblance to cumin seeds.

However, cumin and fennel are pretty different. Cumin is a type of flowering plant in the Apiaceae family that is local to the Middle East and extends east to India.

The main difference between fennel and cumin is their taste. Fennel gives out a wonderful taste that’s somehow similar to licorice and is slightly sweet.

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If you’re into dishes that leave a lightly sweet flavor in your mouth such as you’ll find fennel to be a great addition.

These seeds are also used in some drinks and desserts like ice cream because it has a unique taste that pairs well with different types of foods. 

Another great thing about fennel seeds is their versatility, as they work for both sweet and savory dishes.

It’s also worth noting that the taste of fennel can vary depending on which region it is grown in and when it is harvested.

As such, some people may have more favorable tastes towards these seeds than others might.

If you plan to make dishes that require a flavor that is similar to chili powder, then this seed is something you may want to consider.

What Does Cumin Taste Like?

fennel seed taste like

Cumin, on the other hand, tastes like a more earthy type of spice that is used as the main flavor in many different dishes.

So, although cumin and fennel may look similar, they have a huge taste difference and must never be mistaken for the other.

If you accidentally mess these up, you might end up with a dish that’s completely different from what you had planned.

As such, it’s important to know the difference in taste between fennel and cumin seeds so that you can decide which ingredient would be most appropriate for your recipe.

Now that we’ve got that finally settled, let’s head on to our…

Section Summary

Regardless of if you are a professional chef or perhaps just starting out in the kitchen, having new knowledge about a specific ingredient is a total upskill!

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In this section, you have learned that fennel seeds are native to the Mediterranean region. This type of seed tastes a bit sweet and is similar to licorice.

They look like cumin but have a huge difference in taste. By keeping all of these things in mind, we’re sure you’ll be able to pick the perfect seed to use in your next recipe!

But what makes these seeds such a hype in the kitchen, and why should I consider using them in my dishes?

There are several reasons why this kernel is a must-have for any home cook and we have listed all you need to know below

What Is Fennel Seed Good For – The Benefits?

benefits of fennel seed

You may not be aware, but this tiny seed gives you several benefits you’ve never imagined they could.

From health benefits to culinary purposes, fennel seed is a powerhouse of flavors and benefits.

For those who are trying to lose weight to make themselves feel good about their body or for people who want to start living a healthy life, this ingredient will surely help you achieve all these goals.

The benefits of fennel seed are plentiful and you’ll be able to see them immediately if you start including this in your diet. This is why it’s a must-have for any home cook!

Here are the main benefits the seeds gives you:

1. They Are High in Fiber

Fiber is a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of in their diet.

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Fiber is important because it helps you feel full for a longer time as well as maintain your weight or lose if you want to shed some pounds from the waistline.

Fennel seeds are high in fiber, which will make sure that you’re getting all the essential nutrients and minerals that will help you maintain your weight or lose it if you need to.

The fiber in the seed is also beneficial for the digestive system, as well as reducing blood sugar levels and fighting against diabetes.

In addition, fiber will help with constipation – we all know how painful that can be! The soluble fibers found inside fennel seeds are very effective in fighting against constipation.

2. They are Anti-Microbial

In our world today, no place is safe. Regardless of how clean your surroundings maybe, there’s a huge chance of germs and bacteria lingering, and they can be hard to avoid.

Fortunately, fennel seeds are anti-microbial – the capacity of these seeds has been proven on a scientific level.

They are able to kill bacteria that cause food poisoning or other stomach-related problems like diarrhea or vomiting.

It’s advised not to eat it raw since it can be toxic in large quantities so it’s best to cook them up together with your favorite dish.

3. They are Anti-Depressant

Needless to say, fennel seeds are also very effective against depression.

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The chemical constituents found in them (namely anethole) have been demonstrated as a natural remedy for those who suffer from anxiety and stress.

This herb is best consumed either by chewing on the seeds themselves or consuming it through tea.

Regardless of how you use the seed, it can help ease your mind especially when you're having a bit of a hard day. 

It’s good to have a natural anti-depressant on hand so you can start feeling better and be a happier you.

4. They are Anti-Inflammatory

Are you fighting off a cold or sinus infection? Fennel seed is an excellent remedy for a stuffy nose.

The anti-inflammatory properties in the seeds will break up mucous and help relieve you of your symptoms.

If you want to get rid of any type of inflammation, from acne to psoriasis, try adding some of these seeds into your dish or consume it like tea.

The seed will be able to quickly get rid of inflammation and help you feel better.

Fennels are great for a lot of things, but the most common use is to be able to eat them as part of your meal.

There are a lot of ways you can cook this ingredient and we’ll surely talk about it in the next section which is…

What Is Fennel Used For?

other use of fennel

Do you have a huge pile of fennel seeds in your kitchen? if you do, then you’re in for a treat because there are a lot of uses for fennel seed.

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Not only is this ingredient packed with benefits, but it’s pretty versatile too, giving you a lot of room to experiment with the recipe.

The main use for this seed is to either eat it as part of your dish or to transform it into a dish but between these two, there are still things you can conduct with fennel seeds and we’re here to show them to you:

1. Use It as a Pork Rub

Do you want to make your pork taste more amazing? then you need to use fennel seeds.

Fennel seed has a unique flavor that offers an unforgettable experience for your dish, and when mixed with some salt, it’ll be even better!

You can use this as a pork rub to allow those flavors to seep into the meat while it’s cooking and create this unforgettable taste.

You can also use dried fennel seed powder if you don’t have any fresh ones available to you because they are pretty much exactly the same!

If you’ve got the seeds on hand, just simply grind them up and apply them to your pork and it’ll be undoubtedly amazing!

2. Use It With Soup

soup with fennel

If you haven’t made soup with fennel seeds, then you’re totally missing out on a lot of flavors. Basically, all you need is some broth and the seeds to create that wonderful taste in your soup!

Simply put a tablespoon or two of dried fennel seed into the boiling pot with whatever other spices you want (for example cumin spice) and in just minutes it’ll be done cooking up something amazing for your dinner tonight.

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Furthermore, using this ingredient in your soup will give it a kick of sweetness and make it taste just as good or even better than any other soup you’ve had in the past!

3. Use It as a Sauce

Did you know that fennel seed can be used as a sauce? Well, it’s true! The seeds are perfect for adding that extra oomph to your pasta dish or even on top of vegetables.

Simply put some oil in the pan and add garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a little bit of thyme if you want, and sprinkle in a good amount of fennel seeds.

You can also add some cheese and mix it with the pasta to get that cheesy, crunchy sensation you’re looking for!

The flavor it will give you is beyond what you can imagine and it will surely give your sauce a different yet unforgettable taste.

4. Use It With Curry

If you’re a die-hard fan of curry, you’ll surely go crazy if you taste one with fennel seed in them.

The food will melt right into your mouth and give you a new and delicious experience.

Try marinating your chicken or pork with fennel seeds along with your favorite spices!

The spice will give your taste buds a ride they’ll never forget! It’s perfect for adding that extra kick to the dish, so you’re guaranteed to make it something special.

To add this kernel to your curry dish just simply fry it in some oil, add your spices and pour it into your curry while the sauce is starting to thicken up.

With all of these things in mind, you can be confident in the fact that fennel seed is the perfect spice for your dinner. 

There’s really a huge difference when you make use of this seed, and you’ll be able to make something new with a little creativity!

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Acquired Learnings


Isn’t it amazing to finally acquire learning that can surely take your cooking skills to a whole new level?

In this section, we have learned about all the benefits fennel seed gives us along with its main uses of it.

And now before you head out to start mixing up a meal with this God-sent staple, let’s have our…

The Final Sayings

One benefit that learning new info about fennels gives you is that you can now enjoy them in a variety of ways and not just as part of your meal.

This is because the seeds have so many uses.

In this article, you now know the answer to “What does fennel seed taste like?“, the benefits of this, and how to use them in your dish.

With this knowledge, we’re sure you’ll be able to enjoy the fennel seed and all that it has to offer.

If you want to make the most out of this reading journey, be sure to save this guide so you can revisit it when needed.