Anise is the dried ripe fruit of the herb Pimpinella anisum. The crescent-shaped seeds are unmistakably identified by their distinctive licorice-like flavor. Anise is not related to the European plant whose roots are the source of true licorice.
Anise is used whole or crushed in cookies, cakes, breads, cheese, pickles, stews, fish and shellfish dishes. Roasting enhances the flavor. Middle Eastern, Portuguese, German, Italian and French cuisines use anise in seasoning blends such as curry, hoisin, sausage and pepperoni seasonings.
Most anise is produced in Spain but additional sources include Turkey and Egypt. Spanish anise is considered premium due to its better flavor, bolder appearance and higher volatile oil content.
Anise, one of the oldest cultivated spices, was enjoyed by the early Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. In first century Rome, anise was a flavoring in mustaceus, a popular spice cake baked in bay leaves and eaten after a feast to prevent indigestion. Anise became so valued in England that its import was taxed. In 1305, the import tolls collected on anise seed helped pay for repairs to the London Bridge.
Oval, bold seeds with rigid surface
Flavor & Aroma
Pleasant, licorice-like, similar to fennel.
Anise is distinguished by its strong licorice-like flavor and aroma. The seeds are characterized by minty, piney, and fruity flavor notes. Anise's flavor also resembles that of fennel but is somewhat sweeter.