These delightfully warm star shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening. It's then dried in the sun becoming a rich red-dark brown colour and a sweet warm flavour that's reminiscent of licorice, clove and aniseed (it's unrealated to any of these)
Commonly called Star Anise, Star Aniseed or Chinese star aniseed it's a spice that closely resembles aniseed in flavour, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a medium-sized native evergreen tree.
Asian cooks use Star Anise to give a licorice flavor to savory dishes, particularly those with pork and poultry. A main ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder, featured in signature Vietnamese dishes, a secret ingredient in many Indian curries and in western dishes it can sometimes replace regular aniseed.