Star Anise Illicium vernum
Origin China, Vietnam
Part Used Dried Fruit
A star-shaped, eight-pointed pod from the flower of an evergreen tree has an aniseed flavor, but is in no way related to the herb/spice. Star anise has a pungent flavor of aniseed or licorice. Anise is from a plant that grows to height of one and a half or two feet tall where as the Star Anise is produced on a tree that grows to a height fifty feet and resembles a magnolia tree.
Sold whole or ground its use has been mainly in Asian dishes, such as stir fries, pork, veal and duck as well as biryani rice. In the west the applications are becoming more widely used such as in sauces and desserts. The pungent anise flavor is used in the making of liquors and in masking medicinal flavors in medicines.
Available Whole and ground