Discover the beauty and flavor of star anise. Learn about its versatile culinary uses and its positive attributes.
Spikes and Flavor Power
Formerly classified among magnoliaceae, star anise is now part of the Illiciaceae family. The eight-pointed fruits grow on trees reaching up to 10 meters high. The real flavor power lies in the pericarp, not the seed. A 15-year-old tree can be harvested about three times a year, yet profitable harvests only occur every three years. This rarity makes star anise highly sought after and valuable. Originally from South China, it is also cultivated in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan. Archaeological findings confirm its presence in our regions 60 million years ago.
Star anise, distinct from anise, shares similar properties with its namesake. It aids digestion, relieves stomach cramps, and can counteract bloating. Star anise is also germicidal and expectorant. Petra Kühne recommends it especially for coughs and to dissolve blockages and shyness.
Star Anise in the Kitchen
Enjoy star anise as a tea or use it extensively in the kitchen. Its sweet-peppery taste adds an aromatic touch to sweet dishes like puddings and fruit salads. Its popular aroma is also found in liqueurs, potpourris, and even perfumes.
Star anise is a spice full of flavor and positive attributes, versatile for various uses.