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Difference between Anise and Fennel

Difference between Anise and Fennel

There are many types of herbs and spices used in cooking, and it can be difficult to keep them all straight. Two of the most confusing herbs are anise and fennel. They look similar but have very different flavors. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the difference between anise and fennel, so you can use them correctly in your cooking.

What is Anise?

Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is a flowering plant in the Apiaceae family. The plant is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwest Asia. Anise is a herbaceous annual plant that grows to between 20 and 50 cm tall. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 2-5 cm long, and 0.5-2 cm wide. The flowers are white, 5-10 mm in diameter, with five petals. The fruit is an oval-shaped, dry schizocarp that splits open at maturity to release two one-seeded mericarps. Anise is cultivated for its fruit, which is used as a spice.

The fruit of the plant is called an Aniseed. Aniseed is used in a variety of culinary dishes and as a medicinal herb. Anise has a sweet, licorice-like flavor and aroma. Aniseeds are used whole or ground to flavor a variety of dishes such as bread, cakes, cookies, and fruit pies. Anise extract is used to flavor liqueurs such as Absinthe and Anisette. Anise oil is used as a flavoring agent in jellies, candies, and beverages.

What is Fennel?

  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Fennel is native to the shores of the Mediterranean but has been cultivated in many other regions of the world.
  • The bulb, leaves, and seeds of fennel are used in a variety of cuisines. Fennel bulbs have a mild anise flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves can be used fresh or dried as herbal tea. Fennel seeds are typically used as a spice, either whole or ground. Fennel is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.
  • It also contains several phytonutrients, including limonene, anethole, and quercetin. Fennel has long been used as a traditional remedy for indigestion and other digestive disorders. It is also said to aid in weight loss and provide relief from menstrual cramps, among other purported health benefits.

Difference between Anise and Fennel

Anise and fennel are two very similar-looking herbs. They both have long, slender stalks with feathery leaves, and they are often used in similar ways in cooking. However, there are some key differences between these two herbs. Anise is a member of the parsley family, while fennel is a member of the carrot family. Anise has a slightly sweeter flavor than fennel, and it is often used in baking.

Fennel, on the other hand, has a more licorice-like flavor and is often used in savory dishes. Anise seeds are also sometimes used as a digestive aid or breath freshener. So, while anise and fennel may look alike, they are actually quite different herbs with different uses.


Anise and Fennel are two different plants that have similar flavors. They are both used in cooking, but they have different purposes. Anise is mostly used for its flavor, while Fennel is mostly used for its health benefits. If you are looking for a spice to add flavor to your food, Anise is a good choice. If you are looking for something to help improve your health, then Fennel is the better option.

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