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Star Anise is actually the fruit of a tree in the Magnolia family which is native to southern China and Vietnam. Its aroma is much like fennel and its taste is pungent and sweet with hints of licorice. Star Anise has assertive warmth that creates a mild numbing effect in the mouth. The aftertaste is fresh and agreeable.
Early English herbalists prescribed star anise to nursing mothers thinking that it helped promote milk production.
Ground star anise is mainly used in the baking process or in making chutneys, jams and compotes. Once ground, the aroma has hints of fennel and anise seed and the flavor contains strong notes of licorice. The most popular blend containing ground star anise is Chinese Five Spice.
Star Anise is actually the fruit of a tree which is native to southern China and Vietnam.
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