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Star anise is a type of evergreentree native to certain parts of Vietnam and China. The tree produces a fruitknown as star anise that is used as a spice to add flavor to a variety ofdishes.
The star anise pod, which is shapedlike a star (hence its name), has six to eight points, each containing a singleseed.
Star anise has a very strong,distinct flavor that is sweet and spicy, similar to licorice, and should beused in small quantities.