August 5, 2005

That time of year

Driving around the countryside now, a thin plant is high above the others with its tiny golden pollen calling me!

I discovered Fennel Pollen while working at the Antica Maccelleria with Dario Cecchini, one of my mentors here in Italy.

Dario's curiosity is contagious and when he discovers something, you also get addicted. I adore it with pork chops , which Dario sells, sauteed and then deglazed with Vin Santo and salted. Or using it in porchetta, with duck.. It is especially good with anything fatty. Fennel seeds have been used for years as a digestive.

The pollen adds a deep rich mysterious flavor, almost oriental.

Dario uses the fennel pollen with abandon... and you will too, if you can get your hands on some!

It is one of the more expensive ingredients.. selling for about $7 an ounce here in Florence and double that in the states.

BUT.. it grows wild! I know in California it is almost a weed!

If not , you can order it here from a place in California or get it from
Conti who have a shop at the Central Market, or at Dario's in Panzano!

Enjoy some of the food of the gods!


  1. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Judy, check and correct the spelling in the url for your link. You have an extra vowel in flavors.
    So, whjat does one use dried nettle for? I use fresh from the backyard all the time, but dried?
    Judith in Umbria

  2. Anonymous12:00 PM

    stumbled here today and dig it!
    elvis presley gospel music
    is all my webs are about visit sometime.

  3. Judith, thanks fixed the links.and dried nettle can be put into flour that you make your pasta with.. for color.. and perhaps a little flavor, or in soups, for people that don't have it growing fresh.

    Small world Jim.. I was born in Memphis and my mom saw Elvis all the time!

  4. hi diva, it is diana from slowtalk (paradiso in piemonte), i had to check out your blog, i love it, and will come back many times to check out new things on it!! You are living your dream it seems to me. I love those moulds. I will get my electro (20kW ... the guy from ENEL almost had a heart attack) for my oven hooked up so I can do some bisque firings before throwing some things into a fire pit...I just wanted to say hi, this pollen was introduced to me by a friend here in Piemonte, now I know what I can do with it!!
    ciao, di

  5. I am living the dream. one of them..but there are so many!

    Perhaps you can make some molds. I saw a someone using them to make beautiful soaps at the market in Torino!

    They make great gifts and look a lot like kindergarden ashtrays, whobbley and all!
    Thanks for the note!