Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is an annual herb known for its aromatic licorice flavor. It's used in sweets, savory dishes, and drinks, offering endless culinary possibilities.
Anise, native to the Mediterranean, has been used for thousands of years. Its distinct flavor profile and medicinal properties have made it a kitchen staple worldwide.
Anise is commercially grown in many countries. You can buy seeds for planting or cooking online or at your local grocery store. Fresh leaves may be found at specialty markets.
Harvest anise leaves 6-8 weeks after sowing, close to flowering. Seeds are harvested late in the season, typically between August and September.
Anise seeds can be stored in an airtight jar in a dark spot for about a year. Leaves can be dried and stored similarly. Ground anise loses its aroma faster than whole seeds.
Anise's sweet, aromatic licorice flavor is due to an organic compound called anethole. It pairs well with seafood, meat, and other spices like clove and cinnamon.
Anise enhances the flavor of pastries, cakes, and cookies. It's also used in meat rubs, salads, soups, and liqueurs. Fresh leaves can be used as a garnish or in salads.