Aniseed

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Aniseed or Anise Seed is a sweet spice which complements sweet baked goods, but also has an affinity with garlic so is good in savoury dishes as well.

Aniseed spice consists of two tiny seeds (3 mm long, or ⅛ inch). Aniseeds have a mild, sweet licorice flavour that does not linger. If you have no aniseed, try fennel or dill seeds, although neither are as sweet.

Anise seed is used in biscuits, especially biscotti and some cookies' recipes, and cakes in Germany and Italy. Aniseed is, also, scattered through bread dough, e.g. in Scandinavian rye breads. Aniseed goes well in chicken pies, in Indian vegetable curries and with vegetables such as cabbage or vegetable soups. Because aniseed complements garlic, you can use it fish stews and sausages In Morocco and Tunisia, aniseed is used to flavour breads, whereas in India aniseed is toasted then added to vegetable and Fish and Shellfish curries.

Aniseed makes a good tea and is used by some as a digestif after a large meal. Aniseed is also the flavouring for aniseed liqueurs.

Aniseed is the dried fruit from the anise plant. Anise is a delicate, annual herb of the parsley family [1], which grows to 50 cm tall (20 inches) and has feathery, flat, serrated leaves with a shape similar to the Italian flat parsley. Anise seeds are harvested after the plant has flowered in late summer by picking the seed heads and drying these in a warm, ventilated area with some direct sunlight; when dry, the heads are rubbed to separate the seeds from the flowers and then sieved.

Substitutes: dill seeds or fennel seeds.

Nutritional Data

g/100g
Energy Value 337 kCal / 1411 kJ
Fat 15.9
- saturates 0.6
- mono-unsaturates 9.8
- polyunsaturates 3.2
Carbohydrate 50.0
- sugar n/a
- polyols n/a
- starch n/a
Salt Trace
Fibre 14.6
Protein 17.6

These can be compared to reference intakes, but these have not been shown in the table above, because they are not particularly useful for spices.

References

  1. Katzer, G. (n.d.) Anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages. Retrieved 28 October 2015.

Further Reading

  • Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K. (2014) The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose. ISBN 9780778804932.
  • Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN 9781465435989.