FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Star anise is a spice from south China with a licorice-like flavor. In India, it is known as the "chakra pool." This spice is an excellent source of the flavonoid anethole.
If you come across a bulb with stalks and frond-like leaves that look like fresh dill, it's essential to know that it's bulb fennel, not anise. When a recipe calls for a fennel bulb, you should use bulb fennel instead of anise. Anise is a different plant, and its seeds are used for flavoring. Although Fennel and Anise have similar tastes, they are not the same.
Cloves can be a great option if you need a substitute for star anise. Although they look alike, star anise and cloves complement each other. They have similar sweet and bitter notes that add flavor to meals. However, use fewer cloves than star anise since they taste more pungent.
Fennel seeds have a milder taste than anise seeds, which have a solid black licorice flavor. Despite being interchangeable in cooking, fennel and anise have distinct cultural uses and traditional roles.
It is essential to be cautious when consuming star anise tea, as it may contain Japanese star anise, which is toxic. Both infants and adults have reported experiencing severe adverse effects after drinking star-anise tea. Children should not consume star anise as it may result in severe side effects such as seizures and vomiting.