Edible Anise Hyssop: Superstar in the Kitchen

Edible anise hyssop is a lesser-known herb with a strong, sweet licorice flavor and aroma. Native to the mountains of the Americas, this herb is often used as a substitute for its cousin, hyssop, which has less intense anise notes. Anise hyssop can be used in drinks (as a non-alcoholic additive to cocktails), as well as in desserts, sauces, and salads. Read on for more details about this underappreciated herb and some great ideas for incorporating it into your everyday cooking.

Why Should You Care About Anise Hyssop?

Anise hyssop is a perennial herb native to the Americas, and it’s closely related to hyssop, an herb that’s more commonly used. However, anise hyssop has a stronger flavor and aroma than hyssop and is often used as a substitute for it in cooking. Anise hyssop is closely related to anise seeds, and it has a very similar flavor, though it’s less intense than anise seeds.

You can use anise hyssop in drinks, desserts, sauces, and salads. It has a strong licorice flavor and is often used as a substitute for anise or mint in drinks, since those herbs are less intense. Anise hyssop is also much easier to find than other herbs in the same family, such as hyssop.

How to Select and Store Anise Hyssop

If you can find anise hyssop at your local grocery store, farmers’ market, or Asian market, its leaves should be green and have a strong, sweet aroma. You can also grow this herb at home, which is easy to do-just follow the same instructions for growing hyssop.

If you’re growing it yourself, you can also use the stems of the anise hyssop-just make sure to remove the seeds first, before using the stems in cooking. When shopping for anise hyssop, look for leaves that are bright green with no wilting, insect damage, or signs of mold. It’s best to store anise hyssop in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days.

Tasting Notes for Edible Anise Hyssop

Anise hyssop has a strong, sweet flavor and aroma, with notes of licorice. It’s very different from the flavor of hyssop, which has a minty flavor. Like many strong herbs, the flavor of anise hyssop is best when combined with other ingredients, and it can be used to replace other strong herbs, such as anise and mint.

You can use anise hyssop in cocktails, desserts, sauces, and salads. It can also be used to make herbal tea, though it’s not a common ingredient in tea blends. Anise hyssop can also be used to make an herbal oil, which is great for infusing your kitchen with its sweet, strong aroma.

Recipes with Anise Hyssop

Anise hyssop can be used in many different dishes. Try adding it to your next batch of granola, as well as baked goods, including cookies and scones. This herb also makes a great addition to Asian-inspired soups, sauces, and salads. Here are just a few ideas for using anise hyssop in your everyday cooking:

— Add anise hyssop to cocktails, like this Mexican Anise Mojito, to make them less sweet and more complex.

— Add chopped anise hyssop to your next batch of tabbouleh, which will make this Middle Eastern salad even more refreshing and flavorful.

— Bake anise hyssop into your next batch of scones, which will be extra flavorful and fragrant.

— Include anise hyssop in your next batch of granola, which will be extra crunchy, sweet, and aromatic.

— Make a simple anise hyssop syrup, which you can use to flavor all kinds of dishes, such as pancakes, drinks, or desserts.

Other Ways to Enjoy Anise Hyssop

Anise hyssop is easy to grow in your garden or indoors on a windowsill, so you can enjoy its sweet, aromatic flavor year-round. You can also make an herbal oil with anise hyssop, which is a great way to fully appreciate the herb’s flavor and aroma. To make it, pick a few bunches of fresh anise hyssop, and chop the stems and leaves.

Combine the chopped herbs with about 2 cups of olive oil in a jar, and let it sit for about a week, shaking the jar a couple times a day. After about a week, strain the oil, and you’ll have a fragrant herb oil to drizzle over salads, roasted vegetables, and more. Anise hyssop can also be used to make herbal tea, though it’s not a common ingredient in tea blends.

Bottom line

Edible anise hyssop is a lesser-known herb with a strong, sweet licorice flavor and aroma. It’s closely related to hyssop, but has a stronger flavor, and is often used as a substitute for it in cooking. Anise hyssop can be used in cocktails, desserts, sauces, and salads, and can also be used to make herbal tea, an herb oil, and herbal tea.

It’s easy to grow at home or find at your local grocery store or farmers’ market, making it easy to enjoy the sweet, aromatic flavor of anise hyssop whenever you want.

*NOTICE: Articles in this publication are not meant to be used as a guide for medical treatment. These articles gather existing information about herbs, herbal remedies, and mushrooms for health and consumption. Hundreds of years of use of herbs for healing is gathered and published to help people to select alternative solutions to health conditions or to live a more healthy lifestyle.

Allergies and existing conditions can be exacerbated by herbs or mushrooms, so care must be taken in using remedies in these articles. Consult a physician or dietician if desired before using herbal remedies discussed here.**

  • Note: Some links to products or services in this article may be affiliate links and result in income to the author.

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