The wild perennial fennel that grows alongside many roads can be used in cooking and contrary to popular belief is not poisonous. However, it is the bulb of the Florence fennel (or finnochio), which is becoming a gourmet vegetable in this country. This is one of the oldest cultivated plants and was eaten by Roman warriors who believed it to be health giving. The characteristic aniseed flavour and aroma make it a delightful vegetable. It is normally sliced and used in salads or cooked as a vegetable in any form appropriate to celery, onions, or asparagus.
Fennel is available during autumn and winter.
It is a source of some vitamin C and folate.