Star anise

Open a jar of star anise and you're immediately transported to the heart of Chinatown, where the shops seem to be permeated with its exotic aroma.

The star shape is the pod and the tiny seeds nestle inside each star petal. It is usually used whole, like cardamom pods, and always looks very pretty. Its flavour faintly resembles aniseed but with warm, spicy overtones.

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