Organic Star Anise Standard Jar - 18g details and description
Steenbergs Organic Star Anise is one of the most beautiful and fragrant spices in the world.
The perfect 8-12 pointed stars of organic star anise have long been celebrated in China for weddings. Organic star anise are the fruit of a native Chinese evergreen tree that is grown also in Northern Vietnam, boasting a much stronger, sweeter and denser liquorice flavour than the more common Spanish anise seeds. Steenbergs organic star anise come either from China or just over the border into northern Vietnam where it is grown and harvested by Hmong tribal villages. The Hmong are a wonderful people who migrated from China many centuries ago and settled in Northern Vietnam, Laos and China.
Star anise is the dried fruit from a small evergreen tree, Illicium verum, that grows to about 5m (16ft). The star anise tree is part of the magnolia family and has shiny aromatic leaves that are about 7.5cm long (3 inches) and has small greenish-yellow unscented flowers that are followed by rayed fruits, composeed of eight seed-holding segments. The tree begins to fruit in its sixth year and will bear fruits for up to 100 years. The fruits of the tree are picked when still green and before ripe, whereupon they are dried in the sun that turns a characteristic deep, red-brown colour and the flavours and aroma develop. When the fruits dry, the compartments split open in a canoe-shape that reveals little seeds within each canoe. The aroma of star anise is unsurprisingly anise-like, woody and liquorice-like, with a flavour of liquorice character and a deep, warm spicey note that reminds me of cloves and cassia and is fresh-tasting and appetising. For more on star anise, check out Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages.
Star anise is a classic flavour for Chinese cooking and combines really well with duck and pork, especially ribs. It is one of the key flavours in China 5 Spice or for a Chinese master stock. I sometimes use it when cooking fish, both for its flavours and practicality - if you put the star anise on the base of the pan, then the fish on top and then add stock or milk, this stops the fish sticking to the pan and also imparts a lovely liquorice taste. For more ideas on using star anise, check out Allrecipes.
Steenbergs Organic Star Anise is a key part of the Steenbergs range of over 400 organic spices, blends, bakery ingredients, peppers, herbs and flavoured sugars, plus organic extracts and flower waters, organic teas and hot chocolates. For your local Steenbergs' stockist click on "Where to see us", or call us 01765 640 088 or email email@example.com.