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Fennel seeds are a common ingredient in specific types of Italian sausage. They also add sparks of flavor to a variety of other dishes. In Indian cuisine, fennel seeds are sometimes eaten at the end of a meal as a breath freshener.
Fennel is in the Adoption stage. It’s gaining traction on menus but is still considered unique. The ingredient can be found at independent casual-dining and progressive fast-casual restaurants.
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Lakehurst Market in Portland, Ore., uses fennel for its rapini and chickpea salad. The menu item also consists of arugula, ricotta cheese, mint and a citrus-olive vinaigrette.