Are You a Fennel-Phobe?

My spouse has such a strong aversion to fennel, anise,and licorice that he cannot stand to be in the same room with it. He swears that it has to be the most hated/feared smell and flavor for more people than anything else. I really like it, but can only have it when dining out and downwind from him. He has had several meals at fine restaurants ruined for him by the small omission on the menu mentioning the fact that fennel was an ingredient. He swears he can smell it a mile away and can't get the taste to leave if a morsel makes it's way to his mouth accidentally in a dimly lit restaurant.

Fennel seems to be quite popular on menus currently and I tell him that other people must like it or it wouldn't be included in so many dishes. He vehemently disagrees. We are going into perilous territory here, but I need to know how many others are out there. I need to validate or dispute his argument once and for all.


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