Anise seeds lend a licorice flavor to baked goods and more. This spice is widely used in Middle Eastern, Italian, German, Indian, and Mexican cooking. Anise seed is used in Italian biscotti, desserts, and charcuterie. Its extract flavors alcohol including anisette and ouzo.
Anise seed is used as a spice, either ground or whole. Anise essential oil and extract are also made from the seeds. The seeds are produced by the Pimpinella anisumplant, which has been cultivated in Egypt, the Middle East, and Europe for many centuries. The seeds are small, brownish-gray, and slightly curved, with an aroma of licorice. The plant also has aromatic leaves and stems that can be used as an herb, tasting like licorice, fennel or tarragon.