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Native to the Mediterranean but now widely grown, fennel is cultivated for its aromatic leaves and seeds, similar in flavour to aniseed. The fine feathery leaves can be snipped like dill and used to flavour fish dishes, dressings or sauces. Florence fennel, known as finocchio in Italy, is cultivated for its thick stems and bulbous base, both of which may be eaten raw like celery, or the base may braised, sautéed or added to soups.