Anise (a.k.a. aniseed) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. It is known for its flavor, which resembles liquorice, fennel and tarragon.
Anise is sweet and very aromatic, distinguished by its licorice-like flavor. The seeds, whole or ground, are used in a wide variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including British aniseed balls, Australian humbugs, New Zealand aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German Pfeffernusse and Springerle, Austrian Anisebögen, 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.