Anise is an annual plant of the family of sunflower. The stem is 30-60 cm high, branched. The lower leaves are whole, oval-kidney, jagged. The middle leaves are feathery, oval and handles, and the upper leaves are heavily chopped, almost seated. The flowers are small, white, without a cup, gathered on long handles forming a sun shade. The fruit is ovate, flattened on the side, with thin longitudinal ribs. The whole plant produces a characteristic, pleasant smell. Blooms in June-July.
Its origin is unknown, but it is also known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Arabs.
Anise is one of the oldest known to mankind spices used for culinary and medical purposes.
There is evidence that anise was used in Egypt in 1500 BC. The Romans used aniseed cakes after eating heavy meals and spread across Europe from the Roman legions. The Bible mentions the payment of tithing with anise. In 1305 the anise was listed by King Edward I as a taxable medicine, and traders arriving in London paid a tax to repair the London Bridge.
In wildlife, it grows in different parts of the globe.
It is grown in large areas in Asia, all over Europe, India, Chile, Japan, and others. It is cultivated in the southern parts of the country.
Use of the mature fruit of aniseed.
It reaps when the stem begins to turn yellow and the seed grows gray, usually during the month of August.
Ripened stems are tied in thin bundles, leaving a few more days to dry and plumage the fruit. Then the sheaves break or overlap. The best are the fruits that are free of impurities and the color is light green-gray.
The ripe fruit is relatively small, slightly flattened, 3-6 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, hairy, with a strong aromatic smell and sweet-tasting flavor. In cross-section, 15-30 wells of essential oil are revealed.
Anise contains up to 6% essential oil (with 80-90% anethole), 15-20% fat, protein, anise acid, sugar, bitter substances and more.
The fruit and leaves are used as a spice.
Due to their strong aroma and specific flavor, they are sparingly in the dishes. Anise is mainly used in the preparation of sweets and various pasta foods – biscuits, pretzels, honey, donuts, praline cakes, apple cake. It is mainly used in the preparation of spirits (the Bulgarian rakiya anascollika, the French pastis, Pernod and Ricard, the Greek ouzo, the Spanish ojen, the Italian anesone, the Arab arrak and the Egyptian kibib) and the candy industry.
The leaves are an aromatic addition to salads, and together with the fruits, they go very well with sterilized cucumbers. Anise is combined with cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon.
Seeds quickly lose their flavor, so buy whole seeds, not ground. Keep them in a hermetically sealed container in the dark.
Folk Medicine recommends it as a gas-burning and stomach-burning agent, against spasms and colic, especially in children. It stimulates the mammary glands and increases the milk in nursing mothers, against coughing, etc. in the form of infusion 5-10% or in the composition of healing teas.