Anise and Star Anise: Despite the similar name, Anise is not related to Star Anise. They come from different plants. Anise is a category term that loosely classifies this similar group of spices even though they do not share any other botanical ties.
Anise and Star Anise – How They are Different
Common Anise (Aniseed) comes from the plant Pimpinella anisum. This spice is botanically related to dill, cumin, fennel, and caraway. Aniseed is often used in liquors such as Sambuca and Ouzo. The seeds, in both ground and whole form, are also used in bread-making and to prepare herbal teas and infusions. It is also used as a substitute for licorice in candy-making.
Star Anise is the star shaped fruit of a tree that is a member of the magnolia family. It has a similar licorice flavor as Common Anise but the flavor is stronger and more potent. It is most often used in Asian cooking and is the main ingredient in Chinese “five-spice” powder.
Can you substitute Anise and Star Anise for each other?
They can be used interchangeably when ground. Keep in mind that Star Anise has a much stronger flavor when compared to anise seed. When replacing Star Anise with Aniseed, use twice the amount of Aniseed.