Anise is a flowering plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor has similarities with some other spices, such as star anise, fennel, and liquorice. Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans used it a lot, usually to flavor chicken and pork, but also to prepare vegetables and make digestive cookies.
You can cultivate anise in your garden: seed at the end of winter, picking between August and September.
In cooking, anise seeds are largely used, dried or roasted. For example, to flavor meat dishes like rabbit or pork: anise chicken is a well-known anise dish. You can also use it to make cakes, cookies, ice creams, or even popsicles. And, of course, there are the liqueurs… The best-known? Pastis, Ouzo and Sambuca.
Fun fact: anise may help in case of digestive or respiratory diseases, and also flu, nausea and vomiting. It is also used ad a coffee flavoring.