Books, Spice, and Everything Nice: Anise

For 2022, the Berryville Library is hosting its own Books, Spice, and Everything Nice spice club. Stop by the library to get the spice of the month and then stop by the blog on the first Tuesday of the month for recipes and more information on the featured spice. We’ll also be adding monthly posts about cookbooks in our collection. We’re kicking off this program with a most ancient spice–anise!

When we initially envisioned this program last fall, we wanted to ensure that it would be accessible to a wide range of cooking abilities and interests. So, feel free to try some or all the recipes we provide, as well as experiment on your own with anise. There’s no right or wrong way to use the spice or the accompanying handout as long as the results are tasty. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anise has a long history in the cuisine of both Italy and the Mediterranean, so the recipes in the handout really highlight this aspect of anise. We’ve got 2 Italian desserts for you to try (biscotti and anise cookies), as well as a delicious traditional Italian bread with ancient roots (Buccellato di Lucca).

Not into sweets and/or baking right now? Try the slow cooker chicken dish inspired by Moroccan flavors or make your own spice blend (either Egyptian dukkah or North African ras al hanout) to use in savory dishes of your own choosing.

Intrigued by dukkah and/or ras al hanout but unsure where to start? Try here and here to give you some ideas.

Prefer to wing it? Just follow your heart–and the flavor profile suggestions on recommended uses and pairings.

And if all the eating and cooking from the holidays has caused you some stomach trouble, try the herbal anise tea recipe for indigestion.

Not a cook? You might still learn something (and be amused) with the history and trivia about the spice.

Please be sure to update us about how you used anise in January. You can tell us in the comments here on the blog, share them with us on Facebook or Instagram with the #bplspice hashtag, or stop by the library.

Still looking for some ways to use anise in your kitchen? Even though I ultimately didn’t include them in the handout, I was intrigued by this German farmer’s bread and this recipe for Moroccan soup made from semolina, honey, milk, and anise that can be served for breakfast or supper during my research.

Recipes in handout lightly adapted from originals in Spruce Eats, Whole Foods Market, Ciao Italia, Simply Recipes, Grow a Good Life, and Fine Cooking.

Download the PDF here.

What’s your favorite recipe that uses anise? Which recipe are you most excited to try? What spices do you use the most in your cooking? Tell us in the comments!

Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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