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CategoryHerbs and spices

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Anise is an aromatic plant used as a vegetable and a spice. It should not be confused with star anise, which has a similar flavor profile but is used differently.



Anise seeds are small and brown. The characteristic sweet aroma and flavor comes from the compound anethole, which is also responsible for similar flavors in star anise, fennel and liquorice.[1][2] Anethole is not soluble in water, so the flavor needs to be released in fat or alcohol in order to flavor a dish well.[1]

The leaves are milder than the seeds and taste similar to tarragon.[2]

Selection and storage


When selecting the seeds, note that they will have a short length of stem remaining. However, avoid seeds that have excessive stems.[1] Store them away from air in a dark, cool place to keep them fresh and prevent loss of flavor.[2]



The entire anise plant may be used in cooking, including leaves, stems, and seeds. The stalks may be used in stir-fry, and the finely-divided leaves can also be used as an herb.[3] The seeds are often dried and/or ground for long-term storage. A few seeds may be added to pizza sauce to deepen the flavor. Anise seeds can also be processed to make anise essential oil and extract.

Anise is used to flavor a variety of alcoholic beverages, including absinthe, arrak, ouzo, anisette, and sambuca.[1][2]




  1. a b c d Farrimond, Dr Stuart (2018-11-06). The Science of Spice: Understand Flavor Connections and Revolutionize Your Cooking. National Geographic Books. ISBN 978-1-4654-7557-2.
  2. a b c d "Using Anise Seed to Spice Your Baked Goods and More". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2023-12-03.
  3. Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.