Can anyone produce a miracle? Italian herb....

decogrlOctober 15, 2009

I have been looking for 10+ years for an anise seed that is black. My grandmother used to bake a bagle like breakfast treat called Taroli. THe key ingredient was a small black anise seed...not sesame...not fennel. She used to buy it from a corner store that has been out of business for at least 20 years. I would LOVE to find this seed. You may ask why not use regular anise?? The black one from what I remember was very pungent. Thanks for any suggestions

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

When reading this I immediately thought of nigella seed, sometimes called black cumin and a whole host of other names. While I don't think it tastes like anise, it has a very strong and spicy flavor - not as in cayenne spicy but spicy as in it tastes like something out of your spice cupboard. Something that would be at home sitting next to the cloves, nutmeg, etc.

The plant is exceeding easy to grow in the garden and pretty too. The varieties of nigella grown for flowers are called love-in-the-mist. But look for "black cumin" with seed vendors for a good seed producing variety.

As far as where to buy the seed for recipes, I'm sure Dr. Google can answer that question.

FataMorgana

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia - Nigella sativa

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 8:18AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

As fatamorgana says the ornamental Nigella (damascena) is not the same as the culinary one (N sativa) so make sure you obtain the correct seed. N damascena is apparently mildy toxic. But is this actually the spice the OP is looking for? I thought of caraway seed. Although it is not really black the flavour is anise-like. Wikipedia has an entry for TARRALI, which it says can be sweet or savoury. Poppy seed is one variation and that is definitely dark grey or black.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 9:46AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Honestly, I don't know what the OP is looking for.

With a little google searching for "black anise," it says that there is black anise seed that is from Italy and has a strong anise flavor. One of the only places I saw selling it was selling it for $70 USD an ounce. Ouch! I think I'd substitute fennel or regular anise seed. Or perhaps grandma wasn't actually use black anise but something else she called "black anise."

FataMorgana

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out the Taralli recipes for more info...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 2:18PM
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nonnasue_frontier_com

Black Anise seed DOES exist. I live in an area with a large Italian population. At Easter time, small prescription bottles of this seed are sought out from bakeries and other unusual sources for making home-made Easter pastries, including Easter bread. The seed is sent to relatives here from Italy. This black Anise seed is one-quarter the size of sesame seed, and has a strong anise flavor. They are hardly noticed as you chew because of their being so tiny, but bite into one and the wonderful flavor fills your head from just a small amount in the bread or pastry. Believe me, regular anise seed would be a poor substitute, but anything else except anise would be unthinkable! Not caraway, not cumin or anything else. I keep a small vial in my freezer. haven't tried the one available on the web, but the price seems in order if it is what I have spoken about. I have my own local source. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 1:40AM
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blackanisehere

If you're still looking for black anise, I have it. I'll be glad to send you a free sample to see if you like it. Idon't think you'll be disappointed.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 1:06PM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

If you are still looking for this nigella seed, Penzey's Spices carries it. They have retail stores in over 25 states, or you can purchase through mail order if there is not a store near where you live.

Here is a link that might be useful: Charnushka (Nigella Sativa)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 11:02PM
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lilbasil

black anise seed can be found at any local spice company, (the cost is lower when dealing with the spice company direct) and if they dont carry it I'm sure they can order it for you. Like Sue I also live in an area with diverse cultures, and am very lucky. Maybe thats why the cost is much lower than $70.00 Bucks.
easter is coming best of luck

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 12:33AM
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abzzybee(9/10 S. Florida)

Try outside pride dot com for herb source - lots and good prices.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 4:55PM
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blackanisehere

For anyone who doubts it, black anise exists, and I have it. Penzey's does not sell it. I was just in a Penzey store last month. They have anise, not black anise. You can't buy it at your local spice shop unless they have a direct source. If you go into an herbal shop in most towns and cities in Italy and ask for black anise, they won't know what you're talking about and show you the pale grey/brown anise you can buy in any supermarket. Black anise, (l'anice nera) is very costly.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:01PM
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nvcraig

Can anyone please tell me where i can buy some black anise seeds,web site,spice store etc. thank you

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:58AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Some links posted in this thread. Did you check them out?

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:08AM
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blackanisehere

To those looking for black anise seeds, I have them. Please contact me via email if you want more information.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 1:28AM
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blackanisehere

Black anise anyone? Contact me at: frankmansf@ yahoo.com

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 12:36PM
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blackanisehere

If anyone has interest in purchasing black anise from Calabria, please contact me: frankmansf@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 6:47PM
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