Anise is a set of plants that do not even share a botanical point of view.
There is therefore no plant that can be called by this name.
There are several varieties whose seeds and fruits have the same aromatic note and are dried or pounded for different uses.
TYPES and CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ANISE
There is star anise, peppery and green anise.
It is purely appreciated after meals as a digestive in liqueur solutions or as an infusion.
Even the Romans loved to use it in biscuits and exhibited it in the most demanding banquets.
Anise also helps to relax and it is also often used against cough.
It has no side effects, but overuse can be toxic!
100 g of anise contain 337 kcal, 17.6 g Protein, 50.02 g Carbohydrates, 15.9 g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 14.6 g Dietary fiber, 16 mg Sodium.
ANISE IN COOKING AND IN OTHER APPLICATIONS
In cooking, anise is used both in desserts and on meat or cheeses.
For example, star anise goes very well with duck, pork and chicken.
In Italy it is mainly used in the Marche region in order to produce liqueurs and to create sweets called “anicetti”.
Anise flavor is also used in electronic cigarettes!
In ancient Rome, anise was, together with must and cheese, the ingredient of a sweet cooked in bay leaves that we could define as the ancestor of wedding cakes: the mustaceum.
Pliny the Elder advised sleeping with a few anise seeds under the pillow in order to fight insomnia and ward off nightmares. Hippocrates recommended anise to facilitate the elimination of mucus, and in English courts it was used to perfume clothes.
Anise is one of the spices that make up a mixture known as the “5 Chinese spices”. The others are fennel, cloves, cinnamon and pepper.
A legend says that this mixture of spices (used for meats and marinades) is actually the result of the attempt to create a magic powder that recalls the 5 fundamental Chinese elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) and the 5 basic flavors ( acid, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty).