Aniseed (naffa) Aniseed, less commonly anís (Pimpinella anisum), is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwest Asia. Aniseed (also known as fennel) is used in Moroccan fennel and courgette stew as well as in the baking of breads. Aniseed contains a liquorice-like components, is sweet and very aromatic. It is used to make the following confectioneries: Aniseed balls (Britain), Humbugs (Australia), Aniseed wheels (New Zealand), pizzelles (Italy), pfeffernusse (Germany), and knots (Norway). Aniseed is also used to make the Mexican drink "atole de anís" or champurrado which is similar to hot chocolate, the Turkish drink Raki (alcoholic beverage),the Greek Ouzo, the Italian Sambuca, the spirit absinthe, the favorite for Arabic Arak, some root beer such as Virgil's Root Beer in the United States and as a digestive after meals in India. It also is used to make the dough, when preparing the famous Peruvian dessert "Picarones." In Colombia, it is also used to add to the national drink aguardiente, in which, depending on the region, more or less anise gives the typical drink its distinctive flavor.