Star Anise

Alcoeats 101

Star Anise

The Star Anise shrub or illicium verum is native to southeastern China. Similar to how it sounds, the pod is shaped like a star with 8 points and each point contains a seed, which comes from the fruit of the shrub.

The Star Anise shrub or illicium verum is native to southeastern China. Similar to how it sounds, the pod is shaped like a star with 8 points and each point contains a seed, which comes from the fruit of the shrub.

What do we cover?

  • What is Star Anise?
  • What are the ingredients in Star Anise?
  • Where does Star Anise come from?
  • How is Star Anise processed?
  • What does Star Anise taste like?
  • What dietary and health benefits does Star Anise provide?
  • How to use Star Anise?
  • What makes ALCO spices unique?
  • What is Star Anise?

    The Star Anise shrub or illicium verum is native to southeastern China. Similar to how it sounds, the pod is shaped like a star with 8 points and each point contains a seed, which comes from the fruit of the shrub. It is often confused with Anise Seed, however the two are not related. It is very popular in Chinese cuisine and is one of the ingredients in their five-spice powder. 

    What are the ingredients in Star Anise?

    ALCO Foods Star Anise is 100% Pure Whole Star Anise, which is sourced from India.

    Where does Star Anise come from?

    Star Anise is native to Southeastern China. Most of the world’s production takes place in Southern China and Vietnam because of the specific growing conditions required of the star anise shrub. Outside of China and Vietnam India also produces a small amount of Star Anise. If grown in a warm subtropical climate, the shrub must be grown in areas with woodlands, sunny edges and dappled shade. If grown in a cooler area, the shrub must be grown in an area with more exposure to sunlight. The shrub also needs a specific type of soil that has good drainage, humus rich and mildly acidic to neutral acidity levels.

    How is Star Anise processed?

    When the pods of the Star Anise are ready to be harvested, they are removed from the shub individually using garden shears. The freshly harvested pods have a green color with a rounded shape and after they are sun dried they will turn into the star shape with a more reddish brown color. The pods are also closed when freshly harvested and they are not ready to be consumed until the pods have matured and opened showing the seeds encased in the pod.

    What does Star Anise taste like?

    Star Anise has a strong flavor that is warm, sweet and licorice like. It is often compared to having a similar flavor to anise seed.

    What dietary and health benefits does Star Anise provide?

    Dietary Benefits of Green Cardamom:

    • Gluten Free
    • NON-GMO
    • Paleo Friendly
    • KETO Friendly
    • Vegan
    • Vegetarian

    Star Anise contains several different bioactive compounds that can potentially help you fight against viral, fungi and bacterial infections. Star Anise is the leading source of the world's supply of shikimic acid, which is a very effective compound used to kill viruses. Shikimic Acid is an essential ingredient used in medications, which help treat influenza. Star Anise essential oil may also be used to fight viral infections on the skin such as Herpes. Star Anise also contains the compounds flavonoid antethole and linalool, which can potentially stop the growth of fungi. Lastly, star anise is very effective at preventing the growth of bacteria. The bioactive compounds in star anise have shown to be just as effective as antibiotics at killing bacteria.

    How to use Star Anise?

    Although Star Anise is sweet, it is commonly used in savory dishes. Whole Star Anise is best when cooked in sauces, stews, marinades and soups allowing for the flavor to release into the dish. Make sure to remove the Star Anise before serving and not to let it cook too long or it will over take the dish. Star Anise pairs very well with meats, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

    What makes ALCO spices unique?

    PREMIUM QUALITY AND TASTE
    • We are very diligent in our efforts to procure the highest quality spices in the world. The aroma and bold flavors of our spices will make you fall in love with experimenting and trying new flavors in the kitchen.
    100% NATURAL
    • We do not add any artificial flavors, so all of the spices are 100% natural and ethically sourced directly from the Earth. We believe you should never have to use artificial flavors when the Earth provides so many great tasting natural flavors for us. There are also no added preservatives. We are committed to serving you food products that you can feel safe consuming. We believe that you should always know what you are eating, which is why we do not use any strange chemicals created in a lab to help extend the shelf life of our products.
    ETHICALLY SOURCED
    • We are committed to strengthening our community, which is why all of our spices are ethically sourced and purchased from farmers in India.