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How to Choose and Buy Fresh Fennel

Selection of Fennel:


The fennel bulbs should be as crisp, plump (rather than desiccated), and white (the greener ones can be bitter) as possible with no tinges of yellow or brown. The stalks should not be limp or spongy. Generally, the bulbs are sold with the upper stalks cut off, leaving only a few wispy, feathery leaves in the center. These leaves can be used like dill as a seasoning in salads and stews. The cut ends of the hollow stalks should look fresh and green, not brown and dry. Fennel is freshest from early October throughout the end of January, but it is often available year round in large markets and at specialty greengrocers.

One medium-size bulb of fennel will be plenty for two people; two large or three medium-size bulbs should serve six. This is a guideline for you in buying fennel.

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