Our Smoked Star Anise is picked by hand in the mountains near the border between Vietnam and China. The cold, cloudy weather during the winter harvest means the star anise fruits need to be dried on racks near a wood fire, and they pick up a beautiful hint of smokiness. Add petals to stocks, braised meats, rice, teas and cocktails, or grind them up for desserts and baked goods.
Hint hint: Chew on a petal before cooking with it so you can experience the whole range of flavors. It's a wild ride!
- Add petals to homemade stocks, broths and braises
- Throw 1-2 pods into a pot of rice after adding water
- Add to your mulling spice mix for wine, pears, cocktails and teas
- Grind and add to spice cookies, holiday cakes and homemade frosting or whipped cream
Our Smoked Star Anise is grown by members of the Muong ethnic group in northeastern Vietnam. We work with two cousins (pictured): Chu Thi How (left) and Hoang Thi Keo, who own a vertically integrated star anise company. They grow the fruits on their own farm and buy fresh fruit from their neighbors and community members, and they have a drying facility set up on the hill behind their home. Before our partnership, everything that they grew was shipped to China (the border is only about 15 miles away), but we're now their first and only US partner.