Anise (also known as aniseed) is a flowering plant whose fruit is often used to flavor liquor, teas and as an herbal remedy in traditional medicine. The plant is native to the Mediterranean Basin and was originally cultivated in Egypt before being brought to Europe for its medicinal uses. Anise has a similar flavor to fennel or can also be described as a mixture of flavor between star anise (which is unrelated as a plant to anise) and fennel. Historically, anise has been used as a remedy for its help with flatulence, due to its carminative effect and has been used known as a remedy for this since the times of Ancient Rome. It is also used to flavor liquors such as ouzo
in Greece, sambuca in Italy, French anisette and a number of other liquors.
The pronunciation of anise is the cause much debate and confusion: there are pronunciations of anise between the Britain and the United States, but the matter isn't merely between British and American English because within the United States you will find varying pronunciations of anise. The pronunciation of anise that is considered correct in the US is ah-nis
, while in most places in the UK, anice is pronounced as uh-nees
. However, in some states, especially those with a stronger French influence, such as Louisiana, you will find that uh-nees
is more frequently heard. The explanation for this variation is that the name anise derives from Old French and in French, the word is pronounced more similarly to uh-nees