Star-shaped anise – a star among spices
Also known as Chinese star anise, this star-shaped spice comes from the evergreen Illicium Verum tree of the magnolia family (Magniliaceae). The mother plant can grow up to 8 meters high. The leaves are green, elongated and pointed at the ends.
They show a dull variant of yellow or pale green. After five years the tree gives the fruit. These look like stars and are between 2-3 centimeters wide.
Real star anise
Still known as Chinese star anise
The star-shaped aniseed spice has between six and ten tips. When ripe, the fruits are dark brown. In the tips there are the seeds and the latter are used as a spice. But they can only be used after the fifteenth year of the tree.
Anise fruits and seeds
History of the use of the aniseed spice
This aniseed spice originally comes from Southeast Asia. In China and India, the tree grows between 600 and 1500 meters above sea level. Even before our era, the Chinese used the seeds in various foods and medicines. The wood from the tree itself was used in shipbuilding.
Only in the 16th century did the aniseed spice reach Europe. Like many exotic types of spice, it has also generated a lot of interest. Star anise is widely used in many baked and cooked dishes and also in medicine.
When ripe, the fruits are dark brown
Ingredients and storage
The star-shaped aniseed spice contains a lot of anethole, tannin, resins and sugars. The expiry date is very important when shopping. Otherwise the good properties will be lost. The seeds can be used in powder form or whole. You will thereby gain an aromatic substance. It is best kept in closed containers made of natural materials.
Anethole, tannin, resins and sugars are found in Chinese star anise
Anise seeds as powder
Good for health
The star-shaped aniseed spice is very good for health in many aspects. The secretions separate more easily. Problems with the gastrointestinal system are also successfully treated. It is also beneficial for the liver.
Spice and medicinal plant
Anise spice in gastronomy
This spice is also widely used in gastronomy. In ground form it is found in a great many sweets, jams, jellies and baked goods.
Indian black tea with milk and star anise
Geese, chicken and beef can also be given a better taste. Fish and many vegetarian soups also taste great with it. It can be combined wonderfully with black pepper, dill, garlic and parsley. You mustn’t use too much of the aniseed spice. When fresh, the anise is very strong. One gram could be enough for a full serving.
Chicken roast seasoned with aniseed
Delicious cake with spices
Cinnamon, oranges, pistachios and star anise create an oriental aftertaste
Dessert with chia seeds and yogurt
Black chocolate, coffee beans, cinnamon sticks and star anise fruits
Oriental style soft drink