“Star fruit”. Wow … even the NAME sounds glamorous! That is a big name … so, how does a fruit end up being called a “star fruit”, anyway?
1. Is it the favorite fruit of famous people? (Maybe, but that’s not why)
2. Does it come from space? (No. It is grown in several places around our world)
3. Maybe it is the shape of the fruit? (Bingo!)
The interesting thing about star fruit is – it really does not LOOK like a star until AFTER you cut it open!
And - if you cut it open the wrong way, all you get is a delicious and tasty fruit that looks kind of ordinary.
Star fruit (also called carambola) has been popular for thousands of years in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Some think they originated in Sri Lanka (challenge: locate this on a world map!) It is a tropical/subtropical fruit, so it grows best in these climates. A small amount of star fruit is grown seasonally in the USA, mostly in Florida and Hawaii – but our climate is not ideal for growing the largest and fullest fruits.
Star fruit are completely edible – even the slightly waxy skin, which is translucent and light yellow in color. The flesh is crunchy, firm and extremely juicy. The texture of a star fruit has been compared to grapes. Star fruit are lightly sweet but not overwhelming. They contain 10 to 12 edible light brown flat seeds. People have described their unique taste as a slightly tart mixture of apple, pear, grape and citrus fruits. That sounds confusing to us … and delicious. Try one and let us know what you think.
The best time to enjoy a star fruit is shortly after they ripen, when they are yellow or just a light shade of green. They will have brown ridges at the ends and feel firm. Some people prefer to carefully trim off the brown ridges before serving to make the fruit look prettier. Unripe star fruits will be firmer and sour, and taste a bit like green apples.
An average star fruit has just 28 calories, and contains 52% of the U.S. RDA for Vitamin C! These are healthy and delicious fruits. There is much more nutrition information available via the links below.
The best part about star fruit is serving it – seeing the reaction to a fresh yellow star on a salad or a drink glass is fun! These juicy and refreshing treats make fruit salads more appealing, greens more entertaining, and drinks more festive. They can even be frozen into star fruit chips. Recipes and serving suggestions may be found on our “Recipes” tab and via the below links.
Enjoy this fun and really unique fruit the next time you are at the store! Cheers. ☺
More information on star fruit may be found here: