Culinary herbs are very popular in the food industry which are edible parts of the plants generally added to the food preparation for aromatic, flavoring, and visual enhancements to the food. Two of the most common culinary herbs are dill and fennel. These two herbs look almost the same but are different from each other based on their characteristics, flavor, usability, and so on.
Dill vs Fennel
The difference between dill and fennel is that dill refers to an annual herb that has hollow central steam and it does not have more than 1.3 cm in height. On the other hand, fennel is a biennial plant that quickly grows to a 2-meter height and has a bare core dotted with individual leaves. Fennel bushes are strongly at the base.
Dill refers to an herbaceous plant that is used as a cooking spice and as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps. Dill seeds and the other parts of the plants that grow above the ground are used in making several medicines. It is used for treating liver issues, digestion issues, infections, urinary tract disorders, and many more.
Fennel refers to a perennial herb that has an edible white bulb treated as a vegetable. Its fruit, leaves, essential oil, and pollen are used in food dishes. This plant can be seen growing on the roadsides from Italy to Australia to California. Fennel is rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, A, C.
Comparison Table Between Dill and Fennel
|Parameters of Comparison||Dill||Fennel|
|Scientific name||Anethum graveolens.||Foeniculum vulgare.|
|Family||Celery family.||Carrot family.|
|Nutrients||Good source of fiber and calcium. Have very few carbohydrates.||Has more calories and carbohydrates than dill.|
|Seed||Flat small seeds.||Long and thing-shaped.|
|Smell||A bit like caraway.||Not a pleasant smell.|
|Taste||Citrus-like fresh taste and a subtle sweetness that goes well with mint and garlic.||Sweet anise-like taste.|
What is Dill?
The dill plant has feathery green leaves which is an annual herb that belongs to the celery family. This plant is native to southern Russia and the Mediterranean but can be grown in almost every part of the world. The feathery green leaves of the plant are used in the garnishing and salads.
Dill is also known as Lao coriander. Dill plant is an aromatic ingredient with a sweet delicate taste. The leaves of dill are fern-like and dark green. The seeds of the plant are brown and flat. The dried leaves of this plant are known as dill weed.
Dill is rich in micronutrients that provide several health benefits. It has vitamin A which is a fat-soluble that helps to maintain healthy skin, vision, reproductive health, growth, vision, and immune function. It also has vitamin C which is considered to be a vital antioxidant helping the body to withdraw from infection.
Dill plant has been used in Ayurvedic and other traditional Asian medicine. Currently, dill is used for curing cough, kidney disease, fever and colds, infectious disease, loss of appetite, gallbladder and liver complaints, flatulence, bronchitis, neuropathy, spasms, and renal colic.
Like most herbs, dill can be refrigerated, although it can change a plant’s texture. Chefs use different types of methods to use dill in the food dishes. The most common way is to wash and dry the plant and freeze it laying on a paper towel.
What is Fennel?
Fennel refers to another culinary herb that has yellow flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean, though it can be found in most parts of the world. The dried seeds of fennel are used in cooking. It’s oil and seeds have medicinal values. The fennel seeds are laxative, sweet, stimulant, and stomachic.
Though the root of the fennel is not considered a vegetable, it is a member of the carrot family. The base of its long-length stalks forms a crisp, thick bulb that grows above the ground level. At the tip of the stalks and above the bulb, it has feathery leaves similar to dill. Every part of the fennel is edible and can be eaten cooked or raw.
Though the leaves and stalks of the plant are edible, fennel recipes mostly consist of its bulb. The fennel bulb has a crisp texture in raw form and has a licorice taste. When it is cooked it gives a caramelized flavor that is tender and sweet.
In Unani or Greco-Arab medicine seeds of these plants are used for treating menstrual issues, bloat, piles, and diarrhea. In China and Europe, this plant remained a traditional herbal medicine for centuries.
According to researchers, fennel seeds may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant, and antifungal effects. Fennel is low in calories but rich in other nutrients. The bulb portion is rich in sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Both dill and fennel are very popular in herbs and also have medicinal values. Both of these plants belong to the Apiaceae plant family. As members of the same botanical family, the essential oil of both of these plants is used in aromatherapy. Despite some similarities between these two plants, there are many differences between them.
The difference between dill and fennel lies in its appearance, flavor, usage. These two plants have different nutrient values and affect human bodies in different ways. But both of these plants are nutritious and it is very difficult to say which plant is healthier. The taste and smell of these plants are also different from each other.