Let Us Get To Know About The Star In Spices, Scientific Name - Illicium verum, Star anise is obtained from a tree known as Illicium verum which belongs to anise family. Star anise which we use is a part of the fruit. It is a pericarp (the skin) of the fruit of the Illicium verum tree which is harvested unripe. Star anise has a component known as anethole which makes star anise a star ingredient in many cuisines, wines, and beverages.
Other Nomenclatures Of Star Anise
Star anise is known by other names such as Badian in French, Star anise seed or Chinese star anise. A kind of toxic anise is found in Japan so as not to get confused with this toxic anise; people started using the adjective ‘Chinese' before ‘star anise.'
What Taste Does Star Anise Have?
Star anise has a unique aroma and a characteristic flavor. Star anise is sweet in taste and anethole content in anise gives its unique aroma.
How Should We Use This Spice To Make Food Tasty?
The taste of star anise made people use it in many dishes in various styles. Following are some uses of star anise, let us check out:
# Substituted Expensive Aniseed: When star anise got introduced in London, it entered in baking cuisine. The anethole content in star anise made it replace the expensive aniseed which was traditionally used in baking.
# Flavoring To Liquor: Star anise is a popular ingredient to make liquor because of its strong aroma and the characteristic taste. Mulled wines are prepared by using star anise.
# Flavoring Agent To Meat: Star anise is used to cook meat dishes as it enriches the taste of meat. Star anise can be added in hot oil and crackle or also the powder can be used in the marinade.
# A Condiment In Hot Beverages: Many hot beverages like green tea, masala tea, herbal tea is made by using aromatic star anise added while boiling these beverages.
# Spice Up Biryani: South Asian delicacy ‘Biryani' has a special place for the use of star anise for its aroma and sweetness. It is used in plain Rice Pulav and also can be added fruit in a while making Jeera Rice.
# Thai Cuisine: Vietnam is one of the originator countries of star anise; the neighboring countries of Vietnam have welcomed this star fruit long back. Thai cuisine has a traditional noodle soup ‘Pho' cooked with a flavor of star anise.
# Chinese Traditional Spice: Star anise is originated, and commercially cultivated crop in South China has a unique traditional spices powder made with five or more spices used popularly in Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. This spice powder is also famous in other South Asian countries known as ‘Garam Masala Powder.'
# Makes Delicious Coffee: Adding some quantity of star anise while making coffee; it enhances and deepens the taste of the coffee.
What Nutrients Must Be A Spice Like Star Anise Providing?
Star anise is an excellent source of vitamin A and also contains a little vitamin C and Folate. Star anise is a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. So it is good to have star anise in the diet.
Does Star Anise Make Any Good To Our Body?
Star anise is very useful in keeping us in good health. Below mentioned are many sound effects on our body. Let us have a look:
# A Chic Friend: The compounds present in star anise helps to keep good health in women during pregnancy. Star anise makes to grow milk level in new mothers and also regulates hormonal functions in a woman's body. Star anise helps to keep good immunity in pregnant women and ward off infections.
# Protects Heart Health: Star anise helps to keep the heart in good health.
# Fights Fungus: The oils extracted from star anise is an excellent remedy against fungus which can be found in throat, mouth, genitals, and intestines. This fungus at the early stage is no harm to health but can disturb the microbial balance in the body on later stages and form candidacies.
# Enemy To Bacteria: Scientists have found antibacterial property in many herbs and spices including star anise. Star anise gives a more tough fight to bacteria comparing to other antibiotics.
# Destroy Free Radicals: Star anise contains a good amount of anti-oxidants which helps to fight against free radicals in our body which if not destroyed gets oxidized and makes the body degrade.
# Polices Blood Flow: Star anise contains iron in abundance which is the main component of hemoglobin in the body. Consuming star anise helps to make blood flow with more oxygen and energy.
# A Natural Sleep Pill: Star anise is an excellent remedy for insomnia and sleep interruption, as it contains sedative compounds that make to release some neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters help to relax and fall one to good sleep.
# Reduces Diabetes: One or two-star anise in the daily balanced diet with regular exercise lowers the diabetes symptoms as the anethole helps to grow enzymes in the blood which works to degrade carbohydrates in the blood.
# Kills Cancer: The abundant content of anti-oxidants which fights free radicals present in the body. These free radicals were prone to mutations in body cells leading to the formation of carcinogenic cells.
Who And How Includes The Star Anise In The Group Of Spices?
Star anise was originated in China where it was used as a medicinal herb, the flavoring agent in sweets, chocolates, liquors, and meat. The fruit of star anise was first introduced to Europe in the 15th century with an English explorer and traveler Thomas Cavendish from the Philippines. He was also not known for the fact that China is the originator land of star anise.
Later in 16th Century star anise reached London and displaced aniseeds from commercial drinks. It tended to start a trade of star anise from China to Europe via 'Sea Route.' Star anise was also known as ‘Siberian Cardamom' at that time.
Star anise got famous in Asian countries in later days and started cultivating on the commercial level.
What Amenities Does This Star Like To Live And Thrive?
Star anise plant requires a loamy soil with good drainage. Soil should be rich in humus and compost; no fertilizers are needed until the soil is impoverished. A slightly acidic soil makes star anise plant to grow well. Star anise grows in the warm environment mainly in the tropical climate. It is a perennial plant in tropical regions. The area with temperature on a minus scale can grow in a greenhouse.
South Asian countries like India, south-China, Japan and Vietnam commercially produce star anise supplying all over the world.