Star Anise is definitely the most awesome looking spice out there. Shaped like a star, each ray of this aromatic fruit contains a single seed, lending a subtle yet sweet licorice flavour with minty undertones. Cooked whole and removed before serving, Star Anise is the perfect spice for sweet and savoury dishes, teas, mulled wines, stews and more. When ground the spice adds amazing depth and complexity to baked goods such breads, cakes, cookies, and even your morning oatmeal. (More info below the photo)
Star Anise is also the main ingredient in Chinese Five Spice. Check out the simple recipe below
- 1 tsp. ground Szechwan pepper (available at www.fairseasspice.ca as of June 1)
- 1 tsp. ground star anise
- 1-1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds (available at www.fairseasspice.ca as of June 1)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt (no hyperlink, you have salt)
- 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
Have the flu? Shikimic acid is extracted from Star Anise and used in the commercial production of the Tamiflu vaccine. So not only does it taste great, its keeps us flu free, and makes pharmaceutical companies and their shareholders super rich.
Don’t have the flu? Star Anise still has many alleged health benefits. There are claims that the Star Anise has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Will Star Anise prevent that massive laceration in your leg from getting infected? No, not likely; you should probably go to the emergency room. Additionally, the Chinese have for centuries used Star Anise to treat digestive discomfort and the common cold. Or so they claim.
Not hungry? That’s fine; you can also use Star Anise mixed with some other spices to create an all-natural organic air freshener. Using the internets I found this link with DIY instructions: http://www.shockinglydelicious.com/natural-air-freshener/
And one final note. DO NOT consume Japanese Star Anise. It is highly toxic and may result in serious neurological effects such as seizures. Then again, some people like to live on the edge.