Aniseed is a warm licorice-tasting seed that is harvested from an annual plant with flat, feathery leaves and white, late summer blooming flower-heads.
Be careful not to confuse aniseed with star anise, which is harvested from a tree that is native to China.
Aniseed is native to the Middle East and is traditionally used with vegetables that can be indigestible such as cabbage, onion, cucumber, carrot, turnip and beetroot.
Aniseed is used to flavour many alcoholic drinks such as Pernod, Greek ouzo and mastikha, anesone from Italy and the French drink, pastis.
Nutritional Information: Aniseed contains tahymol, a chemical compound found in some plants touted for its medicinal properties. The seeds are an excellent source of bone-strengthening and alkalizing minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese zinc, potassium and copper. Aniseed is considered effective in soothing bronchial irritation, and the essential oils have been used to relieve sore throats. Some components of aniseed are thought to ease nervous disorders associated with anxiety.