Top Pick Of The Week

February 24, 2009

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Fennel Pollen

There’s a fennel pollen to bring magic to everything you cook. At front, Hog Heaven, for poultry, pork and veal, followed by Pollen Asian, for barbecuing, roasting, baking, steaming and stir-frying. All photography by Daniela Cuevas | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: A spice that is actually pollen from the flower of the fennel plant—the same fennel that also has edible stalks and produces fennel seed.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Pollen Ranch, a division of the world’s largest collector of pollens, makes nine seasoned pollens in addition to natural, that are blended to pair with specific foods (beef, chicken, desserts, vegetables) and cuisines (Asian, Cajun/Creole). There’s also yummy dill pollen.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The aroma and flavor of fennel pollen and dill pollen are something special! Like saffron or any other wonderful spice, they make a dish memorable. Buy some for yourself and your favorite cooks.

Fennel Pollen: Spice Up Your Life

Page 3: Flavors Of Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen

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The Pollens & Blends, continued

Little Devil

This versatile blend is the most noticeably herbaceous of the bunch. It’s sweet, with a flaky-crunchy texture and just a bit of spiciness, making it perfect for barbeque.

Ingredients: Fennel pollen, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, coriander powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, pasilla pepper, cumin, annatto, dried thyme leaves, parsley, oregano, mustard seeds, sour plum powder, lemongrass powder.


Of all the blends, this one gives the best taste of fennel pollen. Specially crafted for fish and shellfish (but also outrageously good on eggs), the pale golden mixture has the soft, sandy texture of fine breadcrumbs. Orange peel and pepper shine through while crushed almonds round the flavors out.

Ingredients: Fennel pollen, crushed almonds, dried parsley flakes, dried ground orange peel, fleur de sel, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper.

Fennel Pollen - Devil

Do you like things a bit spicy? Sprinkle some crunchy Little Devil on your food.

Fennel Pollen - Asian

Toasted sesame seeds, lemongrass, cilantro, sour plum powder and the Japanese spice mixture togarashi make Pollen Asian a splendid Pacific Rim blend.

Organic Fennel Pollen

The plain, unblended pollen has a delicate, subtle fennel flavor and a floral quality, with nice sweetness and a mild note of anise. This very special spice is especially good on fish, but it’s pretty tasty anywhere else, too.

Ingredients: Organic fennel pollen.

Pollen Asian

There’s something unusual and fun about this one. The rose-hued, dusty base is packed with sesame seeds and sizable flakes of dried cilantro. Sesame gives the blend a compellingly earthy nuttiness; sour plum powder provides intriguing sweetness. It’s great on rice and fish, or anywhere you want the “essence of Asia.” A surprise favorite recipe—popcorn with Pollen Asian and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Ingredients: Fennel pollen, toasted sesame seeds, sour plum powder, lemongrass powder, togarashi pepper mix, fleur de sel, ground star anise, cilantro leaves.


This citrusy mixture, which has notes of sumac and plenty of sesame seeds, is reminiscent of a Middle Eastern za’atar. The golden, almost bronzy-colored dust has an intense, curry-forward aroma. It’s great with vegetable dishes, especially roasted cauliflower. We also love it sprinkled on creamy, not-too-salty feta cheese.

Ingredients: Fennel pollen, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, orange peel, dry flaked ginger, fleur de sel, ground yellow curry, dry savory leaves, cayenne pepper.

Continue To Page 4: Dill Pollen & How To Use The Pollens

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