Star anise is the star-shaped fruit of a small evergreen tree. The spice comes from the dried, star-shaped pericarp. The dried fruit of the tree has a flavor similar to licorice or anise, which is why it's used in many different cuisines around the world. Star Anise can be found in Asian dishes such as pho and dumplings, but also in Indian curries and European desserts like cakes and ice cream. Star anise is one of the ingredients in Chinese five-spice powder.
Origin: China, Vietnam
Flavour Profile: licorice aroma, sweet aftertaste
Used in: Soups, stews, marinades, curries
Health Benefits: Star anise has also been used historically as a carminative (a substance that helps expel gas from the stomach or intestines), digestive aid, and treatment for colic, cholera, coughs, colds, and flu.