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Pollen Ranch

Spice Blends

Secret Spice

David Rebb Firman has an unusual agricultural skill that he learned from his grandmother: He knows how to help crops become more fruitful by adding pollen. He’s also a pro when it comes to collecting wild-growing fennel, cleaning it, and extracting the pure fennel pollen.

Chefs and gourmets know all about the flavor-enhancing qualities of fennel pollen, but it’s not a spice found in a typical home kitchen. David’s on a mission to change that through his company, Pollen Ranch, which cultivates wild fennel pollen. (Don’t
worry, it’s nothing like the sneeze-inducing pollen that plagues hay fever sufferers and it’s completely safe for consumption.)

Just a pinch of fennel pollen will transform nearly any dish -- seafood, beef, poultry, pork, and vegetables -- into something spectacular with its provocative blend of flavors that are reminiscent of anise, licorice, curry and saffron. Fennel pollen as a spice is more powerful and alluring than the plant itself, David says. Pollen Ranch also offers dill pollen, which likewise packs a more flavorful punch than the dill weed or dill stalk.

To complement specific dishes, David enlisted the help of award-winning chef Bernard Guillas, who created distinct fennel pollen blends designed for beef, poultry, vegetables, seafood, desserts, stir-fry, and spicy dishes. Each blend is a mighty arsenal of flavors that will keep your guests guessing about your mysterious secret ingredients.

— Ann
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Pollen Ranch - Fennel pollen and spice blends

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Gary
    Gary

    Hi everyone! My name is Gary Woolley. I am the “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” here at Pollen Ranch.

    All of us here at the World Wide headquarters of Pollen Ranch (all four of us) are extremely excited and

    proud to have Daily Grommet feature our fennel pollen spice blends.

    Get ready to throw your taste buds a party with some of the most amazing, original, flavor filled spice

    blends you will ever experience. Our partner in flavor and creator of Pollen Ranch blends, Chef Bernard

    Guillas, is one of the most remarkable and accomplished Chefs in the world today. In March of this

    year Chef Bernard received the Maitres Cuisiniers de France (Master Chefs of France) award; it is the highest honor the country of France awards a Chef. In the 60 years that France has given this award, only three Americans

    have received it; Chef Bernard is one.

    In June of this year Chef Bernard’s new cookbook, co-authored by Chef Ron

    Oliver, “Flying Pans," won the very prestigious “International Association of Culinary Professionals” awards for

    “Best cookbook in America” And “People’s Choice Award." Believe me this is one of many awards. There is “Chef of

    the Year,” Chefs Magazine, and then being inducted into the “American Chef Hall of Fame” and on and on. I mention

    all of this, yes to brag a bit, but mostly so that you understand the passion for food, artistry, and a Master Chef's

    talent that is packed into every flavor filled tin ready for you to taste and enjoy.

    Don’t be shy about asking questions. I LOVE to talk about Fennel Pollen and Food, doesn’t everybody?

  • Cheryl
    Cheryl
    7/22/11 12:50 PM

    What timing! Just a few days ago, I watched a Food Network program where the chef crusted her thick-cut pork chops in fennel pollen - and was raving about how wonderful the flavor was and how this would be "your secret ingredient". She did not describe what fennel pollen was, and I'd never heard of it! I just assumed it was a fancy name for ground up fennel seeds. Now I know! - and can't wait to try some. :)

  • Gary
    Gary – Special Guest
    7/22/11 2:23 PM

    Hi Cheryl,

    Your in for a real treat. One of my fav ways to use fennel pollen is on pork chops.

    With Anne Burrell's recipe be sure you get a nice thick pork chop because if it is to thin the buttermilk will make the chop to mushy.Enjoy!

  • Alma Soto
    Alma Soto
    7/22/11 2:23 PM

    This is so new to me. I would've never known. Thanks for the awesome find Daily Grommet. Nature, pollination...it's how we get so much of our food afterall, no? My immediate first reaction however in hearing the word 'pollen' is allergies. Never would have associated it with cooking. So how DOES this perhaps come into play with allergies/or allergy sufferers? Does it even matter? Just wondering. I look forward to exploring the world of Pollen cooking. :) Thanks!

  • Gary
    Gary – Special Guest
    7/22/11 2:29 PM

    Hi Alma,

    No worries about allergies, the way we dry the pollen takes care of that. Also, this is a very heavy pollen not the kind that floats around in the air, fennel self pollinates so it doesn't have to travel very far.

  • Alma Soto
    Alma Soto
    7/22/11 2:47 PM

    @Gary Wooley: Ahh very nice! I learned something new today! :) Thnk u!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/22/11 3:12 PM

    A Facebook follower asked this great question.

    "Fennel tastes like black licorice to me. Does the pollen give that taste also?"

    One of our taste testers wrote a blog post describing the taste and her experience cooking with fennel pollen. http://www.dailygrommet.com/blog/ever-hear-of-fennel-pollen/

  • Gary
    Gary – Special Guest
    7/22/11 3:14 PM

    @Katherine Klinger: I get that question or comment a lot. Fennel does have a heavy licoricey anisey taste but the pollen is totally unique in how it interacts with its surroundings. The pollen calms right down, that is what is so great and unique about the blends, the flavor of the pollen kind of moves to the background to support the other ingredients. It is what makes people say “What is that”? and that is when you say “My secret ingredient”.

  • Barbara
    Barbara
    7/22/11 3:45 PM

    Can you tell me what the zensation has in it and also the hog heaven? thank you

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/22/11 4:26 PM

    @Barbara: If you click on the link below, a pdf will open that shows a list of the ingredients in all of the blends, and also ways to use each.

    Pollen Ranch Ingredient and Use Listing

  • Elizabeth Varner
    Elizabeth Varner
    7/22/11 3:52 PM

    You give us a large amount of choices, but no information as to what is in and how to use each choice. Where can I find out this information before buying?

  • June
    June – Grommet Team
    7/22/11 4:08 PM

    @Elizabeth Varner: The ingredient list for the mixes are here -- pdf file.

  • Barbara
    Barbara
    7/22/11 4:40 PM

    Sorry, what link are you referring to? I've had problems with your site before as it is not intuitive for people who are blind as well as lacking some accessibility so please be more specific.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/22/11 4:52 PM

    @Barbara Jones: Thank you for that feedback. We will try to do a better job. Within my response, there is a link titled "Pollen Ranch Ingredient and Use Listing". If you click on that text it will open up a pdf document with more information. I am copying it right here as well so you don't have to go looking for it. -->Pollen Ranch Ingredient List and Use Listing.

  • Barbara
    Barbara
    7/22/11 5:06 PM

    @Katherine Klinger: Thank you. This was very helpful.

  • Gary
    Gary – Special Guest
    7/22/11 6:11 PM

    Hi Everyone,

    I thought that in between questions I would post some of the easy but delicious ways I use Fennel Pollen and the Fennel Pollen Blends. All of our blends were created to deliver lots of awesome flavor in a simple way, so here is an easy way I use Zen~Sational for veggies.

    I'll use broccoli for this example; Place the broccoli in a plastic bag then pour in a good olive oil, shake enough to coat the broccoli add the Zen to the coated broccoli and shake again to coat the broccoli with Zen and let set for a couple of mins. Then cook the broccoli on a grill to desired taste, remove from grill and immediately grade or sprinkle with Parisian cheese. To die for veggies.

  • Rebecca
    Rebecca
    7/22/11 7:09 PM

    Out of curiosity I looked at the ingredients list, and was really surprised to see that several of the blends contain tree nuts (and they happened to be the ones I was interested in), something to take note of if you are cooking for anyone with nut allergies. I usually assume spice blends to be safe in this regard, maybe this is part of the magic of these blends, but in any case I'm just posting this in case anyone else with nut allergies is planning to buy! (I'm a little sad that I can't use it.)

  • Gary
    Gary – Special Guest
    7/22/11 7:50 PM

    @Rebecca,Hi Rebecca sorry about the nut allergies, However, that leaves Herbs de Provence,Zen~Sational,Divine Desserts,Little Devil and Pollen Asian. Our Herbs de Provence is brand new and makes the best roasted chicken I've ever tasted (really).

    It is a rendition of an early 1800s recipe that lavender was added too in aprox 1870. When we added the fennel pollen it was as if the two had been waiting for each other for all those years. The lavender and fennel pollen together create a depth of flavor that was made in heaven. The aroma that it created in the kitchen as it cooked for 1hr and 30 mins was torture, it drove me nuts until I could actually eat it. Oops! sorry I said nuts.

  • Rebecca
    Rebecca
    7/22/11 8:55 PM

    @Gary Wooley: Thanks for the recommendation! The Are You Game and Hog Heaven just sounded so so good, I didn't pay attention to some of the others, but I will give those a try!

  • Gary
    Gary – Special Guest
    7/22/11 9:03 PM

    Hey! How about some Dessert:) Divine Dessert is sooo good on pretty much anything dessert. It can be used as a topping,makes the best apple pie on the planet,awesome oatmeal and raisin cookies,carrot cake,(not a dessert but great in carrot soup). Some of our customers make preserves,chutneys and jams using Divine Desserts. Sprinkle it on fruit kids love it.

    My favorite way to use Divine Desserts is on fruit especially Bosc pears. When I'm doing a product demo at a store I use apples and pears with Divine, the most common reaction I get is OMG!. Sometimes I'll sauté the pears in a little butter and Divine Desserts then place the sliced pears around a scoop of good vanilla ice cream then drizzle a bit of chocolate over top along with some nuts, walnuts or slivered almonds. Easy to make and even better to taste.OMG!

  • Gary
    Gary – Special Guest
    7/22/11 9:10 PM

    @Rebecca, Thanks! Rebecca I know you won't be disappointed. Just let me know if you have any other questions or need some ideas on how to use the blends you chose.

  • Ginny Markowski
    Ginny Markowski
    9/22/11 12:46 PM

    I ordered these on a whim, just to see if this "magic pollen" was real. OMG! It is wonderful with the subtlety described. I am very fond of dill and find the dill pollen to be an amazing way to add the flavor without the leaves.

    Having been told by my doctor to skip heavy desserts, divine desserts has allowed me to have light desserts which are pop out flavorful as well.

    Thanks for a great product!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/22/11 1:07 PM

    @Ginny Markowski: What a wonderful testimonial. Thank you for stopping back to share your experience with us.

  • Patricia
    Patricia
    10/28/11 4:07 PM

    Your ingredient list includes the Pollen Asian Blend. Is this not available through Daily Grommet?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/28/11 5:17 PM

    @Patricia : Good eyes! We have added it to our assortment.

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