Fresh fennel has green tips where the stalks have been cut and
some green fernlike leaves. 
Fennel is called a variety of names, including Florence fennel, finocchio and sweet fennel. It resembles a thickened,shortened celery head topped with feathery green foliage.  To taste, it has a distinctive aniseed flavor. Like most vegetables, fennel is best picked small and a maximum width  of about 11 or 12 cm across the base is advisable, any larger and it tends to become tough and stringy.

Good fennel should have white crisp stalks and brilliant green leaves.  it can be stored in a refrigerator for about a week.  

Wash it thoroughly then trim off any damaged sections and cut it into suitably sized pieces, depending on the recipe.  

Fennel can be boiled, steamed or braised until tender, then served with lemon juice, parsley or butter. For those who find the aniseed flavor too strong. soaking in the vinegar for an hour can reduce the intensity or use only a small amounts to flavor soups and other dishes.  



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