Finocchiona originated in the Renaissance, and possibly even before, in the Late Middle Ages. The use of fennel was an alternative to pepper 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.
Finocchiona's ingredients are chopped pork meat, fennel seeds, red wine, salt, wild fennel pollen and pepper. It is fermented and then dried for not less than five months.