Being mainly used to flavour sweets, jams, hot tea, wine and mulled wine, star anise is characterised by its unique eight-pointed star shape and sweetish flavour. It tastes like aniseed and has a strong liquorice scent, although it is not related to either of these two botanical species.
Star anise is the fruit of an evergreen tree belonging to the Schisandraceae family, which originated in Southwest China. It is one of the components of a mixture called “5 Chinese spices”, which contains Szechuan pepper, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds and Cassia cinnamon.
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