This umbellifer is in the celery/carrot family, one of the most dangerous and interesting groups of plants, containing many edibles along with Hemlock and other poisenous cousins. Sweet Cicely is a cold climate plant which thrives in the north and upland areas, quite the envy of foragers in the south. This can be used the same as fennel; especially good with fish. Traditionally the sweet anise flavour of this herb was used to help sweeten tart fruits, such a gooseberries and rhubarb, so not as much sugar would be required. The seed pods are coined “natures sweets” as are like little liquorish bites.
Sweet Cicely could be used across drinks, puddings, or savoury dishes, it’d be great fresh as a garnish, stewed with other fruits to make cordial, or added to fruit pies or simply crush a leave into your G & T. Traditionally it is added to gooseberry jam, we made a batch of this once in the early days, courtesy of our mum, and chief advisor Claire.
We’d recommend that you put the leaves into a glass/vase of water as the best method of keeping wild leaves fresh. We’ve found this to be generally the best method with most things, second too eating it as fresh as you can!