Anise Seed is related to cumin and fennel. It is an annual plant that is indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean region and cultivated in parts of the world. It is very often used in Middle Eastern cooking, particularly in dishes that contain vegetables as the basis of the flavours. Anise Seed is not related to star anise.
The licoricey taste of Anise Seed is most commonly used to make liqueurs such as Ouzo, Anisete and Pernod. It is widely used in cake baking and cookies, such as Italian biscotti. Citrus fruits in its fresh form are elevated with a sprinkle of Anise Seeds. It complements dark breads and is often used in chutneys.
The most important point is that dried herbs and spices can never go bad if they are kept dry. Yes, the potency is lost, but it will still influence the flavor of your cooking.
Seeds, roots, leaves and flowers last longer than crushed or ground herbs and spices. When you are preparing to store your dry herbs and spices it is vital that they are completely dry. A good indication is to rub it with your finger to check if it crumbles. As oxygen degrades dried herbs and spices over time, you should store them in airtight containers. Glass jars with sealable lids are perfect, and so are metal tins. Plastic wonâ€™t do for long terms storage. Sunlight also degrades dried herbs and spices; therefore, it should be stored in a dark cabinet that is both cool and dry. If your spice rack is near the stove or cooker, steam will degrade your herbs and spices each time you open the container while cooking. When buying in bulk, you should always store only some of the dried herbs and spices in a glass or metal container. Each time you open it, it is exposed to the elements. When buying in bulk it is useful to label your containers with the purchase date and discard date.