Fennel seeds come from the fennel plant and are widely used in many of the traditions of the world. Dried fennel seed has an aromatic, anise-like flavor and is sometimes confused with aniseed. The seeds turn brown or green in color when fresh, then as the seed ages it slowly turns a dull grey color. The green seeds are optimal for cooking. Fennel seeds work well in a wide variety of foods ranging from breads, pastries and other baked goods. Whether whole, crushed or ground to a powder, fennel seeds complement many other spices and can be used as a dry rub to make a very tasty crust on fish and meat when roasted or grilled.