Star Anise

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Star Anise

Technical guide

Ingredients Pure spice
Allergens *
Origin Vietnam
Net weight 15 g
Storage / Use In a dry, dark place Star anise has always been a feature of Chinese cuisine. It is one of the spices in the famous five-spice mix, along with Szechuan pepper, cinnamon, fennel, and cloves. It is also widely used in Indian curries.
It was very popular in seventeenth-century Europe, but has since fallen largely out of favour there, except as an ingredient of aniseed aperitifs. Recently, it has made something of a comeback in ready-mixed Five Spices preparations for oven-cooked fish, I always add a few pieces of star anise to my nage sauces and fish stocks. At the end of heavy meal, Indians eat a few pinches of pan, which is a mix of seeds including star anise.
Price incl. tax €8.70

Olivier Rœllinger's words

Star anise originated in the Yunnan region of China. It crossed the Himalayas and became an indispensable ingredient in Indian cooking. It is recorded as having reached Russia in the Middle Ages, but was still unknown in Europe at that time. Star anised reached Europe – London to be precise - in 1588, when the british navigator Thomas Cavendish returned from sailing around the world. He discovered the spice when he stopped off in the Philippines. The new spice was much admired, particularly by a certain Morgan, apothecary to Queen Elizabeth I. He sent samples of the spice to a number of leading European apothecaries. YThe highly perfumed stars were soon widely used in jams and liqueurs. The port of Bordeaux spacialized in the star anise trade: local mercjhants invented a liqueur called anisette which is still used today as the basis for a number of popular and refreshing aniseed-flavored aperitifs. Although star anise doesn’t come from the same Umbellifera family as anise and fenel, it does have a very similar sweet licorice tatse. Star anise has a little more bite than aniseed. The seeds are les flavorsome than the fruit.

Botanical notes

Star anise is the fruit of Illicium verum, a beautiful tree that is a member of the Magnoliaceae family. The spice takes its name from the shape of the individual fruits, which are eight-pointed stars. The fruits are picked before they ripen and then dried in the sun. The yellow fruit turns blue, then brown. The tree itself smells strongly of aniseed.