We mainly use finocchio, or fennel, at La Cacciata for the abundant leaves of the wild plant; this could almost be said to be the dominant flavour of the local cooking. Unless you grow it, the leafy fennel is hard to find, so if we wish to cook Pollo Orvietano, for example, then there will be a lot of bulb fennel left over. Incidentally, the leaf or feather fennel used in Italy does not have an edible bulb, but its dried flowers are used to flavour grilled fish.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.