Are anise seeds the same as fennel seeds?



Anitalectric April 29, 2011
No. I found this out last month when I was developing my recipe for basil ice cream. Basil itself was not enough to make the ice cream taste "basil-y" so I added some ground seeds I found in the kitchen for some of that extra licorice flavor that basil has. It was the perfect touch! I had labeled the container "aniseed" but the chef told me the next day it was actually fennel seed.

As a vegan, I love to use fennel to make things taste like sausage. Aniseed is stronger and sweeter and I like toasting the seeds in a warm pan before using them in a recipe. Another look-alike is caraway. They are the smallest of all those seeds and are most often used to flavor rye bread.
WeeklyGreens April 29, 2011
Thanks to you both. I love that you people are up at this hour thinking about these things just like I am. Crazy food people unite!

Amanda, I look forward to being able to buy just the few tablespoons of fennel seeds I need at the new Rockville WFM. Yippee!
hardlikearmour April 28, 2011
Nope. Similar flavor, but different. Fennel is milder IMO than anise.

Voted the Best Reply!

Amanda H. April 28, 2011
No, but many people use them interchangeably. Fennel seeds are larger and coarser in texture with a woody, anise flavor. Anise seeds are smaller, with a slightly sweeter, more delicate fragrance.
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