There are certain foods/tastes that I just cannot abide. The biggest one for me is coriander which I’ve spoken about before.
Running a close second is the taste of aniseed. It’s just too overpowering and takes over everything its served with. This therefore rules out fennel. And over the past year or so there has been a very strong trend of using fennel in everything! It keeps cropping up in restaurant menus and on cookery programmes, haunting me! It’s especially popular in Italian cookery which is probably why Jamie Oliver seems to be a particular lover of it. It’s a shame really as I love his recipes. The fact that it is so popular in restaurants and food programmes proves that lots of people must love it but again, I liken it to my hatred of coriander. Like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. There is no middle ground.
The problem with it is that you can smell it even before it reaches you and sometimes menus don’t warn you and there is it, staring at you from your plate! Even worse if its hidden in the dish and you’re in a dimly lit restaurant. Once you’ve got that taste in your mouth its so hard to get rid of it. And even if you remove it from the plate, its already stained everything else on the plate.
I recently ate at a beautiful restaurant which served red mullet with a Pernod sauce. If you haven’t tasted Pernod, it an anise-flavoured drink. But it was such a shame as the sauce completely took over the red mullet and it was all I could taste for the rest of the meal. Of course, there was no mention of it in the description of the dish on the menu.
Anyway, rant over! What do you think? Do you love the taste of aniseed or hate it?