As we sip ouzo in a Greek cafe, its sweet licorice taste intoxicates us before alcohol does. Used by the ancient Assyrians, Romans and Greeks to soothe sore throats and aid digestion, today it is an essential flavoring in many drinks, such as sambuca, ouzo, arrack, pernod, miglee or raki. Similar to the flavor of star anise or fennel, it has a more delicate sweet licorice-like taste and a fruity camphor-like aroma. It is sold as whole, cracked or ground. It is added to both sweet and savory applications such as cakes, sweet rolls, applesauce, sausages, salad dressings, hoisin sauce, curries and tomato-based sauces.