FDA & star anise

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Monique

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Today I went to a herb/spice store and bought some whole star anise. I can make some good tasting tea (or as recently established: infusion) from that, I thought. Never having used star anise before, I check the internet, what do I find?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to consume "teas" brewed from star anise. http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2003/NEW00941.html [Broken]

Spoiling all the fun

Apparently there is a edible Chinese variety and a toxic Japanese variety which tend to get mixed up.. now all I've got to do is find a taxinomaly expert (how do you call plant experts!?) to tell me the difference..
 
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Botanist???

But why do you want to brew that stuff anyway? Are you suffering from colic?
 

Monique

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Yes :) botanist :) I thought of that a few minutes ago.. And it is not scientifically proven that star anise relieves colic :P

Licorice is my favorite sweet (dutch have many varieties, not to be confused with the plastic tasting american variety), star tea is just incredibly sweet and I have a sweet tooth :D

I found a link from the American Botanical Council that is kinda reassuring:

http://www.celestialseasonings.com/research/allaboutherbs/staranise_abcpressrelease.php [Broken]
 
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Why not save yourself the trouble & get a bottle of anisette?

Guess you have to choose your own poison :P

But...
ABC also pointed out that the public should not confuse star anise with anise, sometimes called aniseseed (Pimpinella anisum), a member of the carrot family. Anise is a safe, commonly used food flavoring that is also generally recognized as safe by the FDA. Because of its licorice-like taste, anise oil is the main ingredient used in making "licorice" candies in the U.S.
Is that the "plastic tasting American variety" you mentioned? (I think aniseed is the one used to make anisette.)
 

Monique

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Anisette? Never heard of it :P And boiling some water with a piece of star anise in it isn't too much a trouble I guess?

I'll just be my own test bunny.

The plastic American variety of licorice I was pointing to is from the brand Twizzlers (I guess that is the name), that stuff is just like edible plastic.

I once brought real licorice candy (or liquorice) with me from the Netherlands to the US, lol, it stayed in their mouths just long enough for the taste bud signal to travel to their brain, sending a reflex to spit it out.. the stuff is quite salty :P actually, the salt is ammoniumchloride.. I guess most people aren't used to eating that..
 

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