Star Anise Fruit
© Denzil Green
Star Anise Fruit is a completely different plant from Star Fruit.
The tree that Star Anise Fruit comes from is called the "Indian Almond." The tree can grow up to 25 feet (8 metres.) It's an evergreen that will grow true to seed, and so is propagated that way.
The fruit is quite small, only about 1 1/4 inches tall (3 cm.) It grows in the shape of a star, with anywhere from 5 to 10 points, though the average is a minimum of 8 points. The fruit is picked unripe, then dried in the sun to a brown colour. The fruit is always dried, and never eaten fresh.
Once dried, it is mostly ground up into a reddish-brown powder for use as a spice. The whole fruit is ground, as is. The flavour is actually in the fruit itself, not the seed. The powder has a more pronounced liquorice taste than does anise, as well as being sweeter than Anise. In China, the powder is used in the spice mix called Five Spice Power. In the West, it is used in the West mainly as a substitute for Anise, which is more expensive.
China is still the major exporter, though Star Anise Fruit is now grown as well in the Philippines and even in Jamaica.
Star Anise is used in making Anisette, Pastis and Pernod liqueurs.
Recipes will often just call for a piece of a star.
10 whole Star Anise =1/4 oz (5g) whole Star Anise
5 whole Star Anise, ground up = 1 tablespoon ground = 1/8th oz (2.5g)
In very old recipes, you may see it referred to as "Badian Anise".
Exotic FruitAbiu; Acerola; Ackee; Atemoya; Bread Fruit; Caimito; Canistel; Carissa; Chempedak; Custard Apple; Durians; Feijoa; Jaboticaba; Jackfruit; Java Apples; Jujube Fruit; Karanda; Longan; Lychee Fruit; Malay Apples; Mangosteen; Marang; Pawpaw; Pitahaya Fruit; Prickly Pears; Pulasan; Quandongs; Rambutans; Rose Apple; Soursop; Star Anise Fruit; Sugar Apples; Tamarillos; Tejocotes; Water Apple; Ximenia; Yellow Mombin
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