From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
This spice is known for its distinctive licorice flavor; use it in sweet and savory recipes like stir-fry or baked goods.
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Star anise is the fruit — yes, fruit — of an evergreen tree native to southern China (where most of it still is produced).
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Spices are an important factor in healthy cooking, since they have the power to add abundant flavor without adding calories. Widen your spice-cabinet horizons this week with the unique flavor of star anise. This spice's shape emulates a star with 5-10 pointed tips radiating from a central seed pod. Rust colored with a tough texture, star anise comes from an aromatic evergreen tree. It can be purchase whole or ground and its licorice-like taste, is similar to but more pungent than its anise cousin.