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Fennel "seeds" are actually the dried fruit of the fennel plant, an herb that has been used for hundreds of years. Fennel Seed is often used in pasta sauces and is typically used whole and toasted for an extra burst of flavor. Indian and Asian dishes also use both whole and ground fennel. Though it has many similarities to anise, fennel seeds aren't quite as pungent and also can be used to aid in digestive health.