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anise or anise-flavoured liqueur

Anice verde (Pimpinella anisum) is green aniseed, originally from Asia but grown for millennia around the Mediterranean for taste and medicinal purposes (mainly digestion and stomach pains).

Its name comes from the Greek anisos, meaning 'not equal' because the plant resembles poisonous hemlock. It grows like a weed in Italy and used to flavour sambuca and anisetta.

The southern Le Marche's semi di anice verde di Castignano is in the Slow food presidium: the sunny exposure and high quantity of the active ingredient anethole make for an exceptional sweet herb.

Anice stellato (Illicium verum): star anise.

Anice pepato (Xanthoxylum piperitum): Japanese pepper or pricklyash.

Anice can also be a liqueur (and an essential ingredient in a moretta fanese). Also see mistrà.

Herbs & Spices

Le Marche

Slow Food

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Les, Creative Commons License