Fennel seeds have been grown for cooking at least since the
time of the Romans, who introduced the plant to England. In Italy, the seed
is used whole to spice sausages, ground for tomato sauces of all kinds (especially
pizza sauce), and also used for pork roast. The English use fennel in almost
all fish dishes, especially court bouillon for poaching fish and shellfish.
Fennel has an even longer history as a medicinal. The toasted seeds are
often chewed as a digestive aid. Fennel seed can be made into a weak tea
to relieve colicky babies: try 2-3 tsp. seeds and 1 tsp. sugar per Cup boiling
water, let cool to room temperature.