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Aniseed

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A.K.A

anise seed

What is it?

Native to the Middle East, aniseed is grey-brown in color and oval shaped, and it tastes deeply of licorice. Not to be confused with star anise, aniseed is related to dill, cumin, caraway and fennel. Although Europeans primarily use it for sweet foods, it is used predominantly in savory dishes such as soups and stews in the Middle East. It is also used to infuse alcohol, such as Absinthe, Pernod, Anisette, Ouzo, Sambuca and Raki.

Don’t have it?

fennel seed or star anise can substitute in a pinch.

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    Recipes

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    Grilled Country Pork Ribs with Rhubarb Relish

    A relish featuring raw rhubarb has a pleasant crunch, and its tart-sweet flavor complements rich pork. Chef Andrea Reusing used a special cut of pork at the feast, but country-style…

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    Dark Chocolate Bark with Figs, Almonds, and Candied Oranges

    Can something taste like Christmas? Embedded with candied oranges, almonds, and gingerbread-spiced figs, this chocolate bark embodies the season.

  • Recipe

    Spanish Olive Oil Tortas with Orange-Blossom Water and Aniseed

    Those Spanish tortas de aceite—crisp, orange-anise-flavored  olive oil crackers handmade in Seville—have become a common sight in many upscale grocery stores. The tortas come individually wrapped in wax paper in…

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    Red-Cooked Pork Shoulder and Chestnuts

    Red-cooking is a traditional Chinese braising technique, so named because high-quality soy sauce is said to develop a red tint after long-cooking. Here, that technique helps pork shoulder morph into…

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    Oven-Roasted Sausages with Riesling, Apples, and Pears

    Preparing this dish will fill your home with the most intoxicating aroma ever. The smell alone may be enough to inspire the occasional home cook to prepare dinner on a…

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    Easy Ras el Hanout

    This simplified version of the famous Moroccan spice blend contains only spices that are easy to find in grocery stores. Use ras el hanout to add warm spice flavor to…

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    Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes

    The sweet potatoes in this soup contrast nicely with the tang of the yogurt and the tartness of the lime. Aniseed lends an unusual hint of licorice flavor.

  • Recipe

    Orange-Scented Mulled Wine

    This traditional cold-weather drink is just what its name implies (to mull means to warm and spice): wine, usually red, infused with sugar, citrus, and spices, served warm. A seasonal…

  • Recipe

    Anise-Raisin Focaccia

    This classic sweet topping turns plain focaccia into a treat for brunch, tea, or an afternoon snack. This version gets its kick from anise liqueur. 

  • Recipe

    Peach Cobbler with Star Anise

    Star anise is usually sold in the supermarket spice section. To grind it, put the whole spice in a spice or coffee grinder. I find that 1/8 tsp. isn’t detectable…

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