After braving the Friday crowd at the Market Hall Pasta Shop, having already handed my credit card over to the guy ringing me up, I noticed small jars of fennel pollen on the counter by the balsamic vinegars. Imported from Tuscany, yours for 6.99.
I'd looked for it for a month or so, even flirted with buying some produced in California by people who describe it as "the new 'in' seasoning."
I've had fennel pollen in dishes twice now, once at Clio and once at Dopo. The intensity of the fennel flavor is very pronounced, but there is also something curiously earthy about it. More akin, in its aromatic aspect, to curry than anything else I can think to compare it to.