This amazing looking spice has become known and deservedly popular with the spreading popularity of Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine as well as Chinese medicine.
It is well known for its use in sweet tasting dishes and beverages. It is widely used to make cakes and compotes, also used for making drinks like „bedded” brandy ( aged together with fruit) and it is an indispensable ingredient in mulled wine. Galliano, Sambuca, Pastis also get their distinctive flavour from star anise.
Star anise should not be confused with aniseed and Japanese star anise:
-Anise and star anise show similar notes in taste and aroma, but the scent of star anise is stronger, its taste is sweeter, and botanically they are far apart.
-We get star anise that is grown in Vietnam or China. It is also important to distinguish it from Japanese star anise, which is a poisonous variety.
Interesting fact: It is also often used by manufacturers of health-conscious products because of its immune-boosting effects, and it is well known that one of the active ingredients in Tamiflu, a medicine made during an influenza pandemic, is the same as one in star anise.
Store in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight.