Anise is native to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Anise Seed is a small oval seed that varies in color from light brown to a grayish green. Whiskers of the thin stem are often found still attached to the seed - this is normal and adds to the powerful flavor. But you do want to be sure your Anise seeds only have a few stems and husks. You don’t want to be paying more for filler than actual seed.
Anise is a member of the parsley family and is related to caraway, cumin, dill and fennel. It is known as anise seed or aniseed. Anise seeds possess a sweet, licorice like aroma while the taste is a bit fruity and warm.
Europeans use Anise seeds to flavor breads, cakes, cookies, and sweet fruit dishes. In India it is also found in fish or vegetable curries. Anise seed is also commonly found in French carrot dishes, Nordic breads and Hispanic stews.
Anise seed are popular in a variety of sweets from many countries including Australian humbugs, Italian pizzelle and Peruvian picarones. To add special flavor and texture to baked goods, brush rolls or sugar cookies with beaten egg white and sprinkle with Anise Seed before baking.
Although they sound like they would be closely related star anise and anise are not. Both do have a similar licorice taste with star anise being a bit stronger. Star anise is also slightly more bitter than regular anise seed.
Anise is good with apples, chestnuts, fish, nuts, pumpkin and root vegetables.
it works well in combination with allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, fennel, garlic, nutmeg, pepper and star anise.