Collecting Wild Fennel Pollen

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A couple weeks back I got clued into fennel pollen. Have you ever heard of that? I hadn’t. Apparently it’s a very expensive & coveted spice out there in the spice world, much like saffron.  There is wild fennel growing all over the place right now and it’s it bloom. So I stopped my car at the side of a good patch, cut off a handful of blossoms, let them dry at home. Once dry I separeted the blossoms from the stems and poured them into a little spice jar.
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I realize after having researched collecting wild fennel pollen a little more that what I should have done was simple shaken the blooms into a paper bag to get only the pure pollen, rather than the entire bloom. However it tasted great none the less. The taste is a sweet fennel/anise taste, which I tend to love. So good in home fries!
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Now I have my own fennel pollen, but for free! And I plan on collecting much more. (make sure to carry some sissors or a knife when you go collect, using only fingernails to pinch the blooms off was rather tricky!)

If you live in California, or anywhere else wild fennel grows, go collect some and try it for yourself!

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8 Comments

Filed under in the kitchen, just picked

8 responses to “Collecting Wild Fennel Pollen

  1. Michelle

    That is so cool, I never would’ve thought to use it like that! I collected wild fennel seeds several years ago to sprout in the yard because they are larval food for Swallowtail butterflies, but now I can use it for myself too!

  2. Emily

    Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. Love reading your blog — I moved to Sonoma County a few years ago and am new to gardening. Always learning something new!

  3. KimH

    You might want to check the laws in your are to see if its actually legal to be harvesting wild flowers if they arent on your personal land. It is illegal in many states.

    Do you have horsemint growing in your area? I did in hot dry North Texas and I always used it like oregano. Great stuff!

  4. I had some growing wild here at our farm. It made a gorgeous cut flower. I didn’t know about the pollen. But sadly, the husband took to it with the whipper snipper and it is no longer. I was cranky, cranky, cranky!

  5. When I am in my California gardens I collect the gorgeous pollen of the bronze fennel that is trying to take over the world. It tastes so great.

    Folks need to be aware that right now the caterpillars of the anise swallowtail are dangling like jewelry from the the fennel. Be kind to them.

    All joys to you,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  6. Fennel pollen is delicious with goat cheese.

  7. Pingback: The Summer of Experimentation | A Sonoma Garden

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