A Tiny Seed with a Mighty History
Tiny, unassuming Anise Seed. Hard to believe by looking at it that it’s one of the earliest known herbs on earth. Native to the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, Egyptians have been cultivating Anise seed for centuries. It predates Biblical times, being prized by the ancient Romans as a digestive aid to counter their rich ceremonial meals. Many scholars also believe it was so valued in this early history to have been used as currency! And really, it’s no wonder. With its sweet flavor and reputation for easing digestion - Anise seed has continued to find its way into countless baked goods, candies, savory dishes, beverages and liqueurs to this day.
Many unrelated herbs have a flavor profile so similar to Anise seed that they are often considered interchangeable, such as fennel, caraway and licorice. Licorice candies are often made with anise flavor alone and not any licorice at all! The most similar is, of course, is star anise. Considering that they share a name and almost identical flavor profile, it would be forgivable to think they were related or even part of the same plant. In fact, they occupy totally different worlds. Anise seed is a member of the Apiacaea family along with celery, carrot and parsley, and Star Anise comes from a South Asian evergreen tree.
Anise seed makes a wonderful flavoring, and can be added whole to baked goods and savory dishes. It can also be steeped as tea, tinctured, used as a base ingredient for bitters and liqueurs, or ground to be used as a spice.
For many centuries, people from all over the globe have found fresh herbs to be a gentle yet effective health-enhancing blessing. These are our own hand packed loose herbs, packaged in old world apothecary style, air tight brown paper canisters to keep light and moisture out, and freshness in. Use in teas, tinctures, and elixirs.