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Fennel Sugar - Preserving Bronze Fennel Seeds

on Mon, 01/16/2012 - 20:10

I thawed a bag of herbs that was floating around in my freezer.  It was double wrapped so I couldn't tell what herb was in there.  Once thawed it was apparent -  4 million bronze fennel seeds!  Well, there are few things I adore more than bronze fennel seeds.  We aren't talking regular fennel seeds.  These were picked fresh and plump, a few months back, from Eva's garden - and we are talking Bronze Fennel - much sweeter than the conventional fennel - with its auburn fronds as sweet as candy (well, maybe a medieval candy).  Come summertime we add the fronds to any kind of salad (even fruit salad!) or we make a bed of the fronds for fish. It is  the plant to grow if you have sun.  It is a hairy lush gorgeous truly original plant.  And the fronds sell for a pretty penny to Eva's chef clients.  The seeds are born in the fall and I hate to see them go to waste.  Even though I can only save a small percentage of them, what I do save is never thrown out.  But to thaw this many, in the middle of winter?  I remember hearing that one chef preserves herbs by processing them with sugar.  So this is what I did.  Fennel sugar.  Now I have a large jar of fennel sugar.  How will I use it?  I will sub a small amount of fennel sugar in recipes that call for white sugar - like biscotti, sweet biscuits or scones, cakes, jams and compotes, sorbets and ice cream.  I'll let you know how it goes - And well, you'll tell me if you have any ideas, right?