Aniseed Is More than Licorice

Licorice lovers aren't the only ones who enjoy the flavor of anise in their foods. Aniseed has a long history of spicing up everything from soups to cakes, but it has also been valued for its fragrance and medicinal properties.

The spice was so highly regarded in ancient Rome that it was even used to pay taxes. Romans not only enjoyed the licorice-fennel flavor of aniseed but relied on it as a digestive aid. Today, it's still used in tea form to aid digestion.

Anise goes well with eggs, fruit, white sauces, pastries and vegetables such as spinach and carrots.

Since the seeds are so small, aniseed can often be used whole instead of ground. It should be stored in an airtight container and kept away from extremes of heat, light and humidity.

Perk up your next meal with one of these anise-enhanced recipes.

"Anise Fruit Bowl always goes over well," writes Alberta McKay of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Toss together your favorite fruits for this delightful medley dressed with a pleasant anise-laced syrup (shown above with Aniseed Yeast Rolls).

Aniseed Yeast Rolls are hard-crusted golden brown gems that have a mild anise flavor and a soft pillowy texture with a sprinkling of aniseed on top. Amy Short from Lesage, West Virginia shared the recipe.

There's just the right accent of anise in these crisp old-fashioned cookies from Sharon Nichols of Brookings, South Dakota. Try baking up a batch of Anise Icebox Cookies today!