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Old 11-22-2013, 01:13 PM   #11
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Can anyone explain why fennel is unique to Italian sausage?
It isn't. It's popular in Greece, the Middle East and India, and it's an ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder. I'd guess Italian sausage is probably the most mainstream food that includes it and so that's what most of us are familiar with. Here's more info: From the Spice Cupboard: Fennel Seed | The Kitchn
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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Until this thread, it had never occurred to me that fennel seeds came from those celery-like, mildly licorice flavoured bulbs. D'oh!
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:30 PM   #13
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Can anyone explain why fennel is unique to Italian sausage?
Both my pizza and marinara sauce recipes also call for ground fennel seed. There are times I've been out and had to make the recipes without that ingredient. You can definitely tell something is "off" when it's missing.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:11 PM   #14
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Both my pizza and marinara sauce recipes also call for ground fennel seed. There are times I've been out and had to make the recipes without that ingredient. You can definitely tell something is "off" when it's missing.
Perhaps that's my problem on occasion. Non of my recipes call for fennel yet I know the feeling of something missing. Not always but sometimes it's just not what I want.

Thanks for the links folks. Interesting reading and it will keep me busy for awhile.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:30 PM   #15
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Fennel is probably one of my favorite spices. Spaghetti sauce just isn't right without it, and I always add extra fennel seed to Italian sausage.
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