Anis seed or short; anis, is used quite a bit in baking dishes for it’s unique slightly sweet taste. Anis and staranis are very similar to each other in taste but are definitely not the same. Anis seed comes from a plant while the star anis comes from a tree.
Anis is used in a lot of dishes for it’s unique and characteristique taste. Besides dishes it is also used in a number of drink, like anismilk and ofcourse various alcoholic beverages. Anis is an important ingredient in for instance; the French pastis, Greek ouzo, Turkish raki and the controversial Absint.
Anis is also used for medicinal purposes to enhance the digestion (that’s why some of the named drinks are served as a digestiv) and to get rid of excess fluids in a natural way. Anis is also apparently good if you have a strong case of flatulence (or in other words if you fart a bit too much!) as the American Indians used anis seed against flatulence..
The seeds are an essential part of the Asian kitchen where they are used in curry dishes. Anis seed in European cooking is mostly used in combination with various flours and baking cookies, cake or anis bread. You can use the whole seeds in baking but the most famous way to use anis in Holland is for the foundation of the so-called ‘muisjes. (served to celebrate a newborn) To make these the anis seeds get a little sugar syrup coating and are put on toast to eat.
Tip: sprinkle some anis seeds through a vegetable dish (for instance red cabbage or carrot) and let yourself be surprised by the flavor. You can also use it in a fish dish or ground the seeds and add them to your muesli or oatmeal in the morning.