Anise Squares
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Anise Squares (History, Pictures & Commercials)

This candy has been around for a very long time. Anise is one of the most traditional flavors of candy and you will find that anise is also used in many loaves of bread, sweets, and other kinds of crackers and snacks. This is a flavor that is unique and has been a favorite for sweets and other kinds of desserts for many generations.

If you have never had anise treats and candies, you are missing out! These unique candies are a part of history and you would be cheating yourself if you did not try them at least once. Anise squares have been made by many candy companies over the years, with the Russel Stover ones being the most famous of the versions of these candies.

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If you have ever wondered which candy that is still being made is the oldest, this candy might get the award. How many other candies do you know have been manufactured since 719!

Anise Squares


The original version of this candy was made before the French Revolution. This candy was popular even in 719 and was reported in Roman travel diaries that have been uncovered at historical sites. After the French Revolution, these candies were made with a similar recipe all throughout France. The manufacturer that was the most famous for making these treats was the abbey of Mains Troubat, which is still making the candies today.

The traditional candy-making process that anise seeds are used in, requires that a single anise seed is at the center of the flavored syrup. The syrup is built up in layers of this central seed and the candy is made over 15 days. When the candy has been completed, it is wrapped up and sold. These traditional candies come in violet, rose, mint, jasmine, and licorice flavors. There is also an orange flavor in some packets of these candies.

Most people are most familiar with Russell Stover’s anise squares. They have made these traditional candies for a long time, nearly since the beginning of the company being in existence. Russell stover got its beginning in 1923 and it is still one of the leading chocolate and fine confections makers in the business. They were acquired by Lindt & Sprungli based out of Switzerland in 2015.

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old candy

This company actually got its start with Eskimo pies, which are ice cream treats. They were such a hit that this became the standard for this common treat and the company was then well on its way to creating other products that would make those with a sweet tooth happy.

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Russel Stover was not named Russel Stover until 1943. Prior to this, the company was called Mrs. Stover’s Bungalow Candies. The candy company was well-established by the time that this switch occurred and there was new life breathed into the confectionary part of their product line by the movie Forrest Gump. In the movie, Forrest states that his mother told him that life was like a box of chocolates, “you never know what you are going to get”.

Small batch creations have been the hallmark of this company for years. They make each batch of chocolates and treats with attention to detail and the perfect blend of flavor and quality. This is the same creative process that is applied to traditional candies like anise squares. You will find that you will get a quality buying experience from Russell Stover’s, no matter what product you are buying from them.

What do Anise Squares Taste Like?

Anise squares are flavorful and are an old-fashioned taste experience that many people enjoy. This is a candy flavor that has existed since the 700s and you will love that you can still access this traditional candy experience through the help of manufacturers like Russell Stover. This candy tastes a lot like licorice and you will love the fennel notes in the actual anise candies. This part of the flavor profile is herbal and enjoyable.

This flavor profile is Mediterranean and enjoyable and memorable. This is a really flavorful candy that is not overwhelming and you will love that your anise squares are so flavorful for such a simple candy. This is one of the more unfamiliar taste profiles for many people who are used to sweet and sour candies and no other kind of flavor style.

The overall flavor of anise squares offers a balance of fennel and licorice that you will not find in many modern candies. Fennell is more associated with savory items these days. You will not find many candies that include savory flavors.


Anise squares include the following ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Artificial colors FD & C red 40, red 3, blue 1, yellow 5 and yellow 6·        
  • Soy lecithin
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This is a very simple ingredient makeup and you will find that not many modern candies are so simple in their design and their ingredients. If you hate eating things that are not natural in nature, you will love that this candy is so natural and healthy for your consumption.


Serving Size 3 Pieces (16g) % Daily Value*
Amount per serving
Calories 60
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 11g
Added Sugars 11g 22%
Protein 0g
  • Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

What Part of the World Are Anise Squares From?

Anise squares are from France and the original process of making them is called the Dragee process. This is the process that is described above which includes adding a single anise seed to the candy and then pouring the sweet that makes up the hard portion of the candy over the seed. This is done for a set period of time to make sure that the candy is the right size and consistent when it is completed.

This is a traditional candy-making technique that anise squares were made this way in the beginning. While the current method of creating this candy is not the same, you can still find dragee-made chocolates and more when you visit France or other parts of Europe. There are some manufacturers that still use this candy-making process and you will love being able to experience this traditional candy-making experience for yourself.

Modern candies are not made with this method but the flavor and the outer shell of the candy that is made this way are second to none in taste and flavor experience. It is well worth tracking down a dragee-made candy just to know what the original candy process was like.

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You can also buy Anise Squares at Old Time Candy by clicking the image below.

Old time candy


The packaging for most of the candies made by Russel Stover is simple and clean. You will get the traditional white label with the name of the company in the fancy script that has not changed in years. You will also know what kind of candy is in the bag or other kind of container due to the easy-to-read red box that includes the candy name. You will also be shown if the candy is sugar-free or not below the label.

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Russell Stover has always used the white banner for their company name and then has added other color notes depending on the product that is inside the packaging and the season that the candy is made for. Some of their products are very seasonal in nature, but anise squares are not one of these product offerings.

The current Amazon packaging shows the white banner and the appearance of the candies themselves peeking through the clear bottom half of the wrapper. The traditional Russell Stover bow is present on the wrapper and the bag looks like it is tired off with a bow as well. This is a nod to the original packaging for this kind of candy and you will love the traditional notes that are present in the candy wrappers for these kinds of products.

Are Anise Squares a Hard Candy?

Yes, anise squares are hard candy. This is the kind of candy that you suck on and get to the center where the flavor is the best. While there is no anise seed at the center of candies that are made by Russell Stover today, there is still the nod to the original hard candy when you unwrap each unique anise square to enjoy.

These hard candies are wrapped in simple transparent red wrappers that are twisted on both ends. This is how most hard candies have been sold for years and this nod to the original packaging is really important for this candy. Even though you are buying the candy in large bags that are not the same as the original box-style collections, you will still get to twist off the simple cellophane wrapper and enjoy the candy that is inside the packaging.

Hard candies are a thing of the past in most cases, but anise squares have held up to the test of time and are still sold today with much the same packaging and flavor profile as what they offered back in the 700s. This is a traditional candy that is steeped in history that you can still enjoy today.



Some classic Russell Stover ads:

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