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Aniseed belongs to the umbelliferous plants and, like many of its relatives, is a traditional and versatile spice and medicinal plant. In the summer it bears many small white flowers and smells very characteristic.
After flowering in the late summer, the seeds are harvested. The culture of anise in the Mediterranean has already taken place more than 4,000 years ago, while its wild form is unknown nowadays. It is cultivated as an annual plant and is used as a bread spice, in meat dishes and especially around Christmas in gingerbread or cookies. It is also a highly appreciated aromatic ingredient of liqueurs and liquor in its extracted form as aniseed oil - Ouzo, Raki and Pastis are just some of the examples.
Less common is the culinary use of the herbal parts or tflowers, but they also give a pleasant taste. A classic combination, both medically and culinarily, is fennel, aniseed and caraway.
Because of its antibacterial and aromatic properties, the oil is also used in a variety of medical and cosmetic prodcuts, where it is mainly used to cover less pleasant tastes of the other ingredients. Breastfeeding mothers are often recommended to drink anise tea to promote milk production.
approx. 500 anise seeds
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