Anise seed comes from the plant anise. The seed is greyish brown, and is small and curved (Wikipedia, nd).
Although uncommon, allergic reactions to anise seed can still occur. If an allergic reaction does occur, contact your allergist.
Anise seed is used in French carrot dishes, East Indian curries, Hispanic stews, and Scandinavian breads. It balances the flavors of bay leaf and cinnamon. Anise is also used to flavor liqueurs such as ouzo, anisette, pastis, Pernod, Ricard, anesone, ojen, aguardiente, arrak, kabib, and raki. Anise is also used to flavor many herbal medicines (Mountain Rose Herbs, nd).
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Here is a delicious anise seed cookie recipe.