Anise

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Anise
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
(unranked):Angiosperms
(unranked):Eudicots
(unranked):Asterids
Order:Apiales
Family:Apiaceae
Genus:Pimpinella
Species:P. anisum
Binomial name
Pimpinella anisum
L.
 
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Anise
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
(unranked):Angiosperms
(unranked):Eudicots
(unranked):Asterids
Order:Apiales
Family:Apiaceae
Genus:Pimpinella
Species:P. anisum
Binomial name
Pimpinella anisum
L.

Anise /ˈænɪs/,[1] Pimpinella anisum, also called aniseed, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor has similarities with some other spices, such as star anise, fennel, and liquorice.

Biology[edit]

Anise is a herbaceous annual plant growing to 1 m (3 ft) or more tall. The leaves at the base of the plant are simple, 1-5 cm (⅜-2 in.) long and shallowly lobed, while leaves higher on the stems are feathery pinnate, divided into numerous leaves. The flowers are white, approximately 3 mm in (⅛ in.) in diameter, produced in dense umbels. The fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp, 3–6 mm (⅛-¼ in.) long, usually called "aniseed".[2]

Anise is a food plant for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (butterflies and moths), including the lime-speck pug and wormwood pug.

Cultivation[edit]

Anise plants grow best in light, fertile, well drained soil. The seeds should be planted as soon as the ground warms up in spring. Because the plants have a taproot, they do not transplant well after being established, so they should be started either in their final location or transplanted while the seedlings are still small.[3]

Production[edit]

Western cuisines have long used anise to flavor some dishes, drinks, and candies, and the word is used for both the species of herb and its licorice-like flavor. The most powerful flavor component of the essential oil of anise, anethole, is found in both anise and an unrelated spice called star anise (Illicium verum) widely used in South Asian, Southeast Asian, and East Asian dishes. Star anise is considerably less expensive to produce, and has gradually displaced Pimpinella anisum in Western markets. While formerly produced in larger quantities, by 1999 world production of the essential oil of anise was only 8 tonnes, compared to 400 tonnes from star anise.[4]

Composition[edit]

Anise essential oil in clear glass vial

As with all spices, the composition of anise varies considerably with origin and cultivation method. These are typical values for the main constituents.[5]

Moisture: 9-13%
Protein: 18%
Fatty oil: 8-23%
Essential oil: 2-7%
Starch: 5%
N-free extract: 22-28%
Crude fibre: 12-25%

Essential oil yielded by distillation is generally around 2-3% and anethole makes up 80-90% of this.

Uses[edit]

Anise seeds

Culinary[edit]

Anise is sweet and very aromatic, distinguished by its characteristic flavor.[2] The seeds, whole or powdered, are used in a wide variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including the black jelly bean, British aniseed balls, Australian humbugs, New Zealand aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German Pfeffernüsse and Springerle, Austrian Anisbögen, Netherland muisjes, Norwegian knotts, New Mexican Bizcochitos, and Peruvian picarones. It is a key ingredient in Mexican atole de anís or champurrado, which is similar to hot chocolate, and it is taken as a digestive after meals in India..

The Ancient Romans often served spiced cakes with aniseseed, called mustaceoe[6] at the end of feasts as a digestive. This tradition of serving cake at the end of festivities is the basis for the tradition of serving cake at weddings.

Liquor[edit]

Anise is used to flavor Middle Eastern arak, Colombian aguardiente, French spirits absinthe, anisette and pastis,[7] Greek ouzo, Bulgarian mastika, Macedonian Мастика, German Jägermeister, Italian sambuca, Dutch Brokmöpke, Portuguese, Peruvian and Spanish anís, Mexican Xtabentún and Turkish rakı. In these liquors, it is clear, but on addition of water becomes cloudy, a phenomenon known as the ouzo effect. It is believed to be one of the secret ingredients in the French liqueur Chartreuse. It is also used in some root beers, such as Virgil's in the United States.

Medicinal[edit]

The seed wasteth and consumeth winde, and is good against belchings and upbraidings of the stomacke, alaieth gripings of the belly, provoketh urine gently, maketh abundance of milke, and stirreth up bodily lust: it staieth the laske (diarrhea), and also the white flux in women.

—John Gerard: The Herball, 1597, p. 880, side 903[8]

Miscellaneous[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ dictionary.reference.com: anise
  2. ^ a b Anise (Pimpinella anisum L.) from Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages
  3. ^ How to Grow Anise from growingherbs.org.uk
  4. ^ Philip R. Ashurst (1999). Food Flavorings. Springer. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-8342-1621-1. 
  5. ^ J.S. Pruthi: Spices and Condiments, New Delhi: National Book Trust (1976), p. 19.
  6. ^ "Anise History". Our Herb Garden. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Jack S. Blocker, Jr.; David M. Fahey; Ian R. Tyrrell (2003). Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An Global Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 478–. ISBN 978-1-57607-833-4. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  8. ^ a b John Gerard, 1597. The Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes
  9. ^ Albert-Puleo M (December 1980). "Fennel and anise as estrogenic agents". J Ethnopharmacol 2 (4): 337–44. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(80)81015-4. PMID 6999244. 
  10. ^ a b Muller-Schwarze, Dietland (2006). Chemical Ecology of Vertebrates. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-36377-8.  page = 287
  11. ^ J.S. Pruthi: Spices and Condiments, New Delhi: National Book Trust (1976), p. 21.
  12. ^ "Book XX. Anise—sixty-one remedies". The Natural History of Pliny 4. translators John Bostock, Henry Riley. London: Henry Bohn. 1856. pp. 271–274. OCLC 504358830. 
  13. ^ Railway Magazine (London: International Printing Company) 99: 287. 1953. 
  14. ^ Collins, Tony; et al (2005). Encyclopedia of traditional British rural sports. Abingdon, England: Routledge. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-415-35224-6. 
  15. ^ Gabriel, Otto; von Brandt, Andres (2005). Fish catching methods of the world (4 ed.). Oxford, England: Blackwell. pp. 153–4. ISBN 978-0-85238-280-6.