Growing up in a Middle Eastern family means that I have a very special relationship with the anise seed. From refreshing drinks to kebab seasoning to dessert adornments, it’s one of the defining flavors of my childhood. But once I started coming out of the fog of childhood, I realized that most of my American friends had never heard of the seed. If you find yourself in this category, then I have one thing to say to you – you’re wrong! You actually are very well acquainted with the flavor… licorice. The pure, unadulterated anise seed taste is a pungent licorice flavor. Mind blown?
Well, surprisingly I am not a fan of licorice but I do love the taste of a dish carefully crafted with anise seasoning. But there are plenty of ways the seed can be used in food, other than in the chewy sweet. You might also be interested to know that anise is found in some of the more well-known spirits, icluding Absinth, Jägermeister, and Sambuca. To get you more acquainted with the essential ingredient I have compiled a list below of some of my favorite recipes that put it to use. So next time you are in the herb section of the grocery store, pick up a bottle and take a stab at one of these delectable dishes:
Today’s post was inspired by this gorgeous Midsummer’s Night Dream party in Kolkata, West Bengal. From the ancient Romans to modern day bohemians in India, this shoot is a great example of the staying power of anise and it’s affect on the culinary world.
Photographer: Valimont Photography//Specialty Foods:Beej//Beauty:Bridgette Jones//Musicians:Chaitown Creatives//Bakery:Delyts//Fashion Designer:Latasita//Invitation Designer:Pixelnd Creative//Favors and Gifts:Pritha’s Leather Tassels//Event Designer:Scraps N Bits//Caterer: The Corner Courtyard//