DECORATIVE STAR ANISE PODS
Star anise pods are as aromatic as they are visually distinctive. As a spice, star anise has a warm and sweet licorice-like flavor profile that also reveals notes of mint and clove. The flavor compound anetole is the oil responsible for the spice’s licorice smell and taste. Other spices that contain anetole include: anise seed, fennel, and of course, licorice.
Use whole star anise in foods that can be infused (soups, stocks, brines, stews, milks, creams, etc.). Make sure to remove the pods before serving as they don’t soften during cooking. An exception to this is if the spice has been added for visual appeal, e.g. to float a top a drink. This presentation can be both decorative and useful in imbuing a licorice flavor and aroma. Whole star anise can also be ground on an as-needed basis for use in confections and baked goods.