Considered as an ancient spice, for more than a thousand years, the herb, Anise was being used in Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman cuisine. The herb which contains a mildly sweet liquorice taste is used to spice up cakes, sweets, desserts, and is also used for the seasoning of seafood, soups, meats and various sauces like those used in Italian and French cooking. With this said, cooking with anise certainly has its benefits!
Anise originally, before the powdered form that is often used in cooking today is said to come from the dried, ripened fruit from the Pimpinella anisum herb and can also be used as one of the ingredients for cookies. In Italian cooking, Anise can be used more often due to its strong aroma and flavor which slightly resembles fennel but is only a little sweeter.
Cooking with Anise is great, especially in Italian sausage recipes, for instance, wherein the anise herb is used in the preparation and cooking of Sweet Italian Sausage in place of fennel in order for the sausages to gain more of a distinct licorice-like flavor that can also be found in sausages with red sauce and in pizzas as well. The anise can also bring out the flavor of other herbs like thyme and oregano, making it a certainly handy herb to have in one’s cupboard or collection of spices.
In French cuisine, on the other hand, the flavor of Anise is very much appreciated by the local French population that enjoy using anise in cooking fish, curries, and many French sauces, as well as using it in liqueurs and alcoholic beverages like that of Vermouth, and also is used when cooking with carrots. Apart from that, the herb, Anise is used in cooking greatly because it is considered as good for the digestive tract as it calms the stomach.
There are a vast number of countries that make use of the herb and many other European states besides Italy and France also enjoy cooking with anise. In Scandinavia for instance, Anise is used as one of the main ingredients in their breads, whereas in Spain, the said herb would be used as one of the ingredients in making stews. The Anise herb helps to enhance many cooked dishes involving cheese, eggs, spinach, fruits and many other baked goods as it is also a fact that bay leaves and cinnamon may complement its taste.
Everyone should try cooking with anise to see if they like the taste or not. Many ancient civilizations have used it for thousands of years and have been satisfied greatly by its added flavor.