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Pagès uses Anise for its powerful and characteristic aroma. Its digestive properties are ideal for infusion consumption after meals.
Anise, a plant with intense aromas
ORIGINS OF ANISE
Originally from the eastern Mediterranean basin, Anise has been cultivated since ancient times. This plant was mainly employed by the Egyptian people who used it exclusively for therapeutic purposes and in particular to treat heart disease. The Semites also used it in sacred rites, Anis then having a role not only medical but also religious. The Greek and then Roman civilizations gave Anise an important place in the medical field. Anise is very common in temperate regions.
Several thinkers and researchers have dedicated themselves to the study of the plant. This is the case of Pythagoras, who is full of praise for his virtues.
Name: Pimpinella Anisum
Species: herbaceous plant
Anise is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant that can grow up to 80 cm high (50 cm minimum). Anise is a tall plant with hollow stems composed of three serrated leaflets (small leaves forming a compound leaf). During flowering, its small and white flowers are grouped in umbels (a set of small flowers whose shape resembles a sphere or dome). The fruits of Anise are greenish and very fragrant.
This plant prefers humus soils: healthy and light. It requires frequent exposure to the sun. The planting period takes place in spring: in April or May. The leaves can be harvested only a few months after sowing. As for the seeds, they are picked when they are mature (in September or October). It is a plant that must be kept in a dry place after harvesting. Anise is very easy to maintain: a watering at the time of sowing, except in case of high temperatures the rest of the year, is sufficient for its development.
USES OF ANISE
Mainly cultivated as a condiment plant, Anise is a plant that is used in its entirety.
Leaves, stems, fruits, flowers and even roots can be used. Although its very pronounced taste is not appreciated by everyone, Anise is still one of the most widely used aromatic plants in the culinary arts. Its fresh leaves give off strong aromas that go very well with salads, soups or raw vegetables. Anise can also be combined with vegetables such as cucumber or asparagus, which have a fine and refreshing taste. This plant is ideal for seasoning yoghurts and even butter. Cooking vegetables or fish with aniseed butter gives them a lot of pep!
Its seeds are rather used in pastries: their more discreet taste is perfectly adapted to sweets. It is therefore also found in candies and other sweets. The chocolate-anise or honey-anise mixture, if it may seem surprising, is astonishing and very gourmet. It should be noted that it can also be used in drinks: an aniseed smoothie, combined with peach and ginger, is the perfect balance between freshness and sweetness! To preserve all the flavour of the Anise, it should be left in a cool, dry place. The seeds can be consumed for three years.
Anise is also popular for the preparation of liqueurs, digestives and other known aniseed drinks (absinthe, anisette, ouzo, raki, pastis, pontarlier, etc.). In Greece, southern France, Italy and Turkey, Anis-based cold drinks are part of the country's cultural heritage. Anise, an essential flavour in the Mediterranean basin, was first used to make medicinal drinks. This plant now represents a real art of living. At the end of the 18th century in France and Switzerland, absinthe was often associated with Anise. The latter made it possible to reduce the bitterness of absinthe and therefore to make it easier for patients to take the drink. While absinthe has long been banned in France because of undesirable side effects on consumers, its use is now only allowed under the name of "herbal absinthe spirits".
Anisette, a liqueur made from Green Anise and other plants, is very popular in Italy. It is traditionally consumed as a digestive, but some people use it to lengthen their coffee.
Pastis, widely consumed in France, is a mixture of alcohol, aniseed essence, liquorice powder and various spices or aromatic herbs. You have to go back to the 1920s to know its history. It was at this time that absinthe was banned (on the pretext that it drove people mad and criminal) and consumers restricted themselves to aniseed liqueurs such as La Cressonnée, la Tommysette or Pernod. It was then agreed on the generic word "Pastis" to designate these alcohols. A few years later, a fellow-citizen named Paul Ricard created his own Pastis recipe in a small clandestine laboratory. It was not until 1932 that the latter marketed it under his own name and under the slogan "Ricard, the genuine pastis from Marseille". Many advertising campaigns followed and little by little, the Ricard pastis became a reference on the market.
Ouzo is a distilled drink made from Green Anise or Badiane. Generally consumed in Greece, this liqueur is made on the island of Lesbos. Since the 19th century, it has been the direct heir to Turkish raki. Indeed, raki has existed since the 16th century and was often produced by non-Muslims of Greek origin. Raki is transparent like water and is generally drunk pure. As alcohol consumption is not allowed in the Muslim religion, it is said that consumers ordered two glasses in the bars: a glass of water and a glass of raki. This prevented them from being caught in the act by pretending to drink two glasses of water. This is why raki is always drunk pure or with a glass of water. It is not mixed like Ricard.
The original flavour of Anise goes very well with Mint, for a refreshing and sparkling digestive. It is also found in herbal teas. The seeds make it possible to obtain an herbal tea with stimulating and carminative properties. The virtues of Anise are perfectly adapted to infusion consumption. It is when infused or used as an essential oil that Anise releases all its virtues.
BENEFITS OF ANISE
Anise has several therapeutic properties, this plant is especially known for its digestive properties.
Anise is also said to help reduce nervous disorders such as digestive contractions, palpitations or unpleasant sensations after a meal.
Used in inhalation, its essential oil is known to be effective against dry coughs or in preventing colds. However, its use should remain occasional. Indeed, use of essentiel oils must be well tought and regulated
Anise a also well known for its abilities to boost lactation.