Star Anise

Star Anise Star anise also known as star aniseed is an oriental spice that tastes like anise. The spice is obtained from the Illicium verum, which is a star-shaped evergreen tree found in Vietnam and China. The tree bears “star” shaped fruits which are harvested before they ripen. From this fruit, one can harvest the star anise oil or make a powder by crushing the leaves. Star anise oil has a strong odor and is often used as a flavoring agent in cooking and smell to perfumes, toothpaste, facial creams and a variety of topic skin ointments. Star anise has been used as a flavoring agent in foods for centuries in South East Asia and China. Even though the evergreen tree is now domesticated in many parts of Asia, the star anise produced in China is rated to be the most flavorful because of its strong aroma. Star anise has been used widely in Europe but has only recently gained prominence in western cooking because of its unique taste. When used in small amounts, star anise can enhance the flavor of many types of meat products. It is commonly used in Oriental, Indian and Chinese cooking both at home and in restaurants in North America. The famous Indian spicy biryani contains a star anise, which is often combined with curry and turmeric to provide the yellowish-red color. Star anise is also used in many Vietnamese foods including the making of “pho” which is a very common Vietnamese noodle soup. Star anise is a very versatile flavoring agent; not only can it be used in cooking main dishes, but it also functions well in baked goods, chilled desserts and making different sauces. Some food experts use the whole leaf to a chilled dessert which adds another dimension to flavoring. In Chinese cuisine, star anise is a chief ingredient when making roasted duck, rabbit, pheasant, and quail. The Chinese often combine small amounts of star anise with large amounts of ginger to flavor, blend, and enhance the exotic spicy tastes of their main course. It is important to keep in mind that star anise is a very strong aromatic spice and hence, only small amounts should be used. Too much and it produces a pungent flavor. In most cases, one only needs a drop or a few leaves to produce the flavor. Star anise can be found in almost any Chinese or Vietnamese food store and is relatively cheap. It is available as a sauce or a dried fruit from which the petals can be peeled off as needed.

Health Benefits of Star Anise:

    Nutrition Facts%DV
    Star anise also known as star aniseed is an oriental spice that tastes like anise. The spice is obtained from

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