Announcing Think Spice… …Think Anise
Posted by bakinghistory on November 1, 2008
The tiny fruits of this graceful plant, which are commonly called seeds, have been used for centuries and have been mentioned in ancient herbals, as well as in texts on medicine, folklore, cookery, confectionery, perfumery, and witchcraft.
Pliny, in his treatise on natural history, mentions anise and states that the best was grown on the Greek Island of Crete. He also tells us that anise was used to substitute lovage in seasonings, as well as to alleviate headaches, soothe the stomach, clear the eyes, and treat colics and coughs. Pliny, as well as Pythagoras, also strongly recommended anise steeped in wine as a remedy against scorpions. The ancient Romans also used it to flavor bridal cakes.
According to Democritus the humble anise was the best cure for melancholy.
In England, under King Edward I, anise was used to pay taxes; in early English herbals anise was also called Anny and Annyse.
In early Italian herbals anise was also indicated as helpful for nursing mothers.
Finally, in old astrology treatises anise was associated with the planet Mercury, and according to old plant-lore it protected the lungs.
Apparently, anise was also used to ward off evil, and kept in a small pouch under the pillow to avoid nightmares.
To participate in Think Spice… …Think Anise:
* Make a dish, baked good, or beverage in which anise is used. It can be a traditional recipe or a new creation, sweet or savory. Any information about lore and uses for anise that you are familiar with will be great to be included as well.
*Post your recipe by November 25, 2008. Include a link to this post and to Sunita’s blog. You can of course use the logo.
Send me an email at bkhstATyahooDOTcom
>your blog name and URL
>name of your recipe and permanent link
>your language and location
> a picture of your dish (200 width)
I look forward to reading many great recipes that include this wonderful spice!!