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Looking for some fennel

janzy Apr 9, 2008 04:00 AM

I've tried the local supermarkets (shaws, stop and shop) to buy some fennel for a recipe I have and can't find any.
Has anyone seen any fennel local to the Boston area?

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  1. finlero RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 04:03 AM

    Not sure which Shaw's you went to, but I see it often at the Porter Square location.

    Other ideas: Russo's in Watertown will have it at a fair price, Whole Foods definitely had it last weekend, as did Pemberton Farms.

    3 Replies
    1. re: finlero
      janzy RE: finlero Apr 9, 2008 04:09 AM

      I was at the Shaw's in Dorchester.

      1. re: janzy
        C. Hamster RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 09:01 AM

        I've seen it there, actually. Also at the Stop and Shop in Quincy and Milton market.

        Maybe they were out of it.

      2. re: finlero
        galleygirl RE: finlero Apr 9, 2008 05:42 AM

        Even Whole Foods has it at a decent price if you buy the conventionally grown...I've seen it at every single one; I use it all the time.

        Not to be rude, but do you know what it looks like? Some stores will label it as 'anise"...Just wondering...

      3. macca RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 06:17 AM

        Wilson Farms in Lexington carries it. Funny you can't find it in the supermarkets. Even the HORRID Shaws in Melrose has fennel. Local stop and shop and Johnnies also carry it.

        8 Replies
        1. re: macca
          PinchOfSalt RE: macca Apr 9, 2008 07:02 AM

          A bit off-topic, to be sure, but I couldn't resist...

          Are there any GOOD Shaws anywhere?

          Even though I could easily walk to the Shaws in Belmont (Waverly Square), I find myself splitting my shopping trips among Russo's, Wilson's Farm, and the Fresh Pond Bread and Circus... err.... Whole Foods. (I get most of my meat, poultry, and seafood at Whole Foods because I can trust its quality and usually a little goes a long way, but I have to admit that I occasionally hit the Stop and Shop near Russo's and the Waltham Costco when I want to purchase those foods in larger amounts and the cost of avoiding hormones and antibiotics at Wholefoods exceeds my budget.)

          1. re: PinchOfSalt
            macca RE: PinchOfSalt Apr 9, 2008 07:12 AM

            You make a good point- there is not a good shaw's anywhere! i buy all of my produce and lots of my meats from Wilson Farms- make a trip to BJ's and Trader Joes a few times a month. There is a stop and shop near my office which I sometimes pop into on the way home. I usually go to my local shaws only on Sunday am for the paper and kitty litter!!
            I have never been to Russo's- I think I will have to try it sometime soon. I love Wilsons, but based on all of the positive things I have seenn on this board, Russo's is worth a visit.

            1. re: macca
              finlero RE: macca Apr 9, 2008 07:20 AM

              I believe Russo's supplies Wilson Farms with a lot of its produce. Be warned, it's perennially mobbed, especially on weekends.

              1. re: finlero
                macca RE: finlero Apr 9, 2008 07:40 AM

                Wow- that surprises me, as Wilson has a large farm in New Hampshire, and a bit of space for planting in Lexington.I think next time I am there I will ask them what they get from Russo's. Hate the thought of mobs- I usually get to WIlsons around 9:30 Sat am- never a problem, and am in and out in no time. I live in Melrose, and can leave my house, shop and be back home in about an hour.

                1. re: macca
                  galleygirl RE: macca Apr 9, 2008 08:03 AM

                  They probably stock up on things they don't grow, but need to source. I was at Allandale Farm in Brookline, and they had a list of things they were getiing from Russo's, too.

                2. re: finlero
                  PinchOfSalt RE: finlero Apr 9, 2008 07:56 AM

                  Yes, Russo's is deservedly popular. Within the past year they have expanded their parking. There's always a spot, but at the peak weekend times it may be in the lot behind Russo's that belongs (or maybe used to belong) to some industrial-looking company (but is marked as okay for Russo's customers). Russo's does a good job of having lots of cashiers on hand. So, even if your schedule only allows you to shop there on the weekends at around mid-day, it is worth the trip to visit international produce heaven. My only quibble is that in the past few weeks they haven't had curry leaves (essential for south Indian cooking) any time I have been there. They used to have them all the time.

                  If you go to Russo's first, then Wilson's you should be okay. Russo's opens very early, before Wilson's. 8AM comes to mind. There is no problem with crowds then.

                  1. re: finlero
                    lgss RE: finlero Apr 10, 2008 05:07 AM

                    And Wilson Farms is closed on Tuesdays.

                3. re: PinchOfSalt
                  finlero RE: PinchOfSalt Apr 9, 2008 07:18 AM

                  The one in Porter is crowded (and the parking lot all but guarantees that my head will explode; fortunately I'm able to regenerate), but the selection has drastically improved over the last ten years, especially for produce and organic foods. Yes, Whole Foods and Russo's still have more, but Shaw's really has come a long way.

                  I fondly remember looking for a fresh jalapenos at the Porter Shaw's in 1999, and ultimately purchasing two shriveled, sorry excuses for produce. After much consternation, the checkout woman opted to ring them up under "variety pepper".

              2. b
                buffet king RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 07:28 AM

                You could try Roberto's Produce on Mystic Ave in Medford. Roberto's usually has fennel/anise.

                Roberto M Bros Inc Fruit
                246 Mystic Ave, Medford, MA 02155

                1. t
                  treb RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 08:07 AM

                  Market Baskets have it, I go some last week. Also, in the NE.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: treb
                    cassoulady RE: treb Apr 9, 2008 09:52 AM

                    the produce store on Parmeter street in the north end always has it. I always see it at the symphony whole foods as well.

                  2. g
                    grant.cook RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 10:35 AM

                    Its not as ubiquitous as carrots, but I see it pretty routinely in local grocery stores around Boston. Whole Foods is probably a lock to have it.. or a larger Shaw's or Big Y.

                    1. m
                      marilees RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 11:07 AM

                      I just got some already cleaned and trimmed from Trader Joe's in Brookline today.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: marilees
                        galleygirl RE: marilees Apr 9, 2008 11:12 AM

                        REALLY? How much was fennel, BTW, at Trader Joe's?

                        1. re: galleygirl
                          marilees RE: galleygirl Apr 9, 2008 11:17 AM

                          Oops - sorry, the fennel was from Whole Foods; it was leeks from Trader Joe's :\

                          1. re: marilees
                            galleygirl RE: marilees Apr 9, 2008 11:32 AM

                            REALLY? Leeks from Trader Joe's? BTW, how much?

                            1. re: galleygirl
                              marilees RE: galleygirl Apr 9, 2008 11:59 AM

                              2 trimmed and cleaned for $2.99. I just hate dealing with sand :P

                      2. c
                        chowfamily RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 04:06 PM

                        I just saw this post, but if you are in the area, the Fruit Center at the Milton Marketplace in East Milton has wonderful leeks and fennel. It is a bit expensive, but fresh and delicious, perfectly clean, and they have very good meat and seafood as well.

                        If this is a detour, Kam Man in Quincy has excellent value for rice, produce, and much more.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chowfamily
                          janzy RE: chowfamily Apr 9, 2008 07:25 PM

                          I picked some up from Milton Marketplace today.
                          Shaw's really sucks for produce!

                        2. rebs RE: janzy Apr 9, 2008 08:32 PM

                          you should be able to find it just about anywhere. in grocery stores it's usually labeled as anise. i made the same mistake a long time ago when i was first started getting in to cooking (as a hobby, not professionally)

                          1. b
                            buffet king RE: janzy Apr 10, 2008 12:06 PM

                            I saw fennel (anise) at Foodmaster on Salem Street (Rte 60) in Medford today. The fennel (anise) is $1.99.

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