China's Flora Tour: A star enhances the flavor to meat
CGTN

Spices are one of the most interesting innovations in culinary culture. It not only adds flavor to the food, but also resembles the character of a certain region or culture. For instance, the star-shaped pericarp, star anise, is widely used in Chinese cuisine, especially in meat.

Star anise (Illicium verum) is an evergreen tree native to China and Vietnam. As a subtropical plant, it prefers mountainous environments that have warm winters and cool summers. In China, Guangxi Province is the most productive place for the star anise.

Star anises. /VCG Photo

Star anises. /VCG Photo

In cooking, star anise is often used with other spices such as chili, cinnamon, dried orange peel, ginger and garlic. It also have value in Chinese traditional medicine.

Star anise is wildly used in cooking. /VCG Photo

Star anise is wildly used in cooking. /VCG Photo

When the star anise was introduced to the Western world, no matter in baking, liquor or coffee, it has found new meaning.

But be aware, not all star anises are edible. The Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) is a highly toxic species that is only used as incense.

(Cover image designed by CGTN's Du Chenxin)

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