Finocchiona is a salami variety, typical of Tuscany, Florence area. It is characterized by the use of fennel.
Finocchiona originated in the Renaissance, and possibly even before, in the Late Middle Ages.The use of fennel was an alternative to pepper (a key ingredient of the standard salami), which was very expensive at the time, while fennel grew wild and abundant in the Tuscan countryside. Also, fennel is rich in menthol, and because of its anesthetic qualities finocchiona was regularly offered by the winemakers of the Chianti area to their customers before tasting their lower quality wines, to mask their taste. Its name derives from finocchio, the Italian name for fennel.