Our desert fennel comes from an organic farm in central Egypt, where fennel has been cultivated formillennia. It's grown in an oasis in the desert, irrigated with water from the Nile, and in the spring the air is sweet with the licorice smell of fennel flowers. You'll taste a slight saltiness - that's the flavor of the sandy desert soil - followed by a sharp vegetal sweetness at the finish.
The fennel is grown by smallholder farmers in central Egypt, in an oasis west of the Nile where ancient canal systems divert the Nile's waters to irrigate the fields. The plants flower in the spring, with bunches of tiny yellow flowers with a beautiful licorice fragrance. The seeds are harvested by hand in early summer, and farmers use a special curved knife to cut the 6-8 foot tall fennel plants down, and the seeds are pulled off by hand.
Meet the Farmer: Partner farmer Ali is pictured showing off his newest crop. The breeze smells like licorice as we walked through the fields.