Fresh Fennel has a strong anise flavor and crisp texture. Thinly sliced raw fennel bulb adds a sweet licorice flavor and crunchy texture to salads. To soften the flavor of the bulb, try braising, sautéing, roasting, or grilling it. Most cooks use only the bulb, but you can treat the feathery fronds as an herb. Fennel pairs well with fish, seafood and white meats, but can take on stronger flavours like ginger.