The anise seeds have an elongated or curved shape, length of about 3-4mm, light-brown color and thin stripes on their outer surface. The seeds have a delicate, sweet and aromatic flavor, with a unique licorice taste, and a special aroma due to an essential oil, the anethole. These unique, aromatic, spicy seeds are very popular not only for their use in cooking, but also for their medicinal value.
Are you suffering from a severe stomach ache, cold and cough?
Make a warm infusion brewed from anise seeds, take a few sips and you will immediately feel better.
Despite the similar name, anise is not related to the star anise, which is a completely different spice from a different genus of plants. The star anise contains anethole as well, which is the same ingredient that gives the ordinary anise its distinctive taste.
This star-shaped spice originates from China and Vietnam, has a dark-brown color and is obtained from an evergreen tree species. It usually has eight pointed petals, each one of which contains one small, hard seed. The spice has a strong licorice flavor, which is stronger than that of the ordinary anise seeds.
Its seeds are used either ground or whole, and it is better that they are stored in airtight container, in a dark and cool place, for about a year.