It looks like celery, it's kin to carrots, and it tastes like sweet, mild licorice. Fennel's anise flavor is deep but soft. It combines particularly well with other flavors and brings out their fullness. Raw fennel is crisp but tender, and adds delicious crunch and sweetness to salads and crudités. Cooked, it's soft and subtle. Fennel's feathery fronds make a flavorful garnish.