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Illicium verum or Star anise is a spice.

Images of Illicium verum or Star anise at Google )

Illicium verum which is also known as Star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise is a spice.

Overview of Illicium verum or Star anise

• It closely resembles anise in flavor.
• It is available from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum.
• It is a medium-sized native evergreen tree.
• It belongs to northeast Vietnam and southwest China.
• The fruits are star shaped.
• They are harvested just before ripening.
• Star anise is also used in tea.
• It is a traditional remedy for rheumatism.
• The seeds are sometimes chewed after meals. This aids in digestion.
• Star anise is used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation.
• It is a Traditional Chinese medicine.
• Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound known as shikimic acid.
• It is an anti-influenza drug.
• Star anise is grown in four provinces in China.
• It is harvested between March and May.
• It is also found in the south of New South Wales.
• Star anise plays a key role in the slow cooked dishes.
• These are characterized in Eastern Chinese cuisine.
• It has a licorice flavor.
• It enhances taste in red cooked dishes.
• It is also used with eggs simmered in black tea.
• Star anise is one of the spices in five-spice powder.
• Star anise is featured in several of Vietnam’s signature dishes.
• It is also the secret ingredient in plenty of Indian stews and curries.
• Star anise can replace regular anise in western recipes.

The main constituents of anise are:
• Moisture: 9-13%
• Protein: 18%
• Fatty oil: 8-23%
• Essential oil: 2-7%
• Starch: 5%
• N-free extract: 22-28%
• Crude fiber: 12-25%

Uses of Star Anise

Anise is highly aromatic and sweet. They are used in confectioneries:
• Black jelly bean
• British aniseed balls
• Australian humbugs
• New Zealand aniseed wheels
• Italian pizzelle
• German Pfeffernusse
• Springerle
• Austrian Anisebögen
• Netherland muisjes
• Norwegian knots
• New Mexican Bizcochitos
• Peruvian picarones

Scientific classification of Illicium verum or Star anise

• Kingdom: Plantae
• (unranked): Angiosperms
• Order: Austrobaileyales
• Family: Schisandraceae
• Genus: Illicium
• Species: I. verum

Growing/Caring conditions of Illicium verum or Star Anise

• Sow the seeds into the ground at a depth of ½ inch.
• Transplant in rows about 2.5 to 3 feet apart.
• Add fertilizer to poor soils.
• If pH of the soil is very acidic, addition of lime is recommended.
• Water regularly.
• This plant grows in light and fertile soil.
• This plant needs well drained soil.
• Sow the seeds in spring when the ground warms up.
• This plant cannot be transplanted once establish well.
• Transplant when seedlings are small and not well established.

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