What is it all about ?
Star anise (Illicium verum) is a spice plant which tastes like anise. The star shaped fruits are harvested before they start getting ripe.
Also called star aniseed, this spice comes from a green shrub, the Badian tree. Its dried and mature fruits resemble 8-pointed stars, hence the name “starry”. It is the whole fruit that is ground and offered in tubes also the whole stars are offered for sale by 150g pouch. The taste of star anise is very anise and a little sweet.
How to use star anise in cooking ?
This spice can be sprinkled in any type of dish to bring an anise flavor. It is widely used in pastry making, especially in dairy desserts (dessert cream, rice pudding, etc.) or fruit-based (compote, fruit salad, etc.) But there is no limits to its use, it is quite possible to sprinkle all his desserts with it. Star anise also goes very well with savory dishes, especially with fish, white meat or vegetable woks stir fry. Finally, this spice is very popular in drinks such as tea, herbal tea or mulled wine.
The virtues of Star Anise
This spice is known to relieve difficult digestion and intestinal problems. It protects against winter ailments including the flu. It is also credited with properties against insomnia, stress and bad breath.