Exotic fruits fascinate me, and starfruit just happens to be one of them. Star fruit is an amazing fruit that can be eaten on its own or added to drinks and dishes.
Unfortunately, it is not readily available in the United States. This might explain why not so many people are familiar with start fruit.
If you have never tasted starfruit, you may be asking yourself ‘what does starfruit taste like?’
You are in luck because this article discusses everything you need to know about starfruit including the flavor, how to eat it, how to choose the best ones, storage, and so much more.
What is it?
Starfruit is a bright yellow fruit that is oval in shape and has ridges. When sliced, it looks like a star hence the name starfruit. Starfruit also goes by the name Carambola.
The origin of starfruit can be traced back to Indonesia. It does well in humid and sunny climates.
Starfruit is normally available all year round, but it is normally harvested twice every year. The entire starfruit is edible. This includes the skin and seeds.
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Starfruit has a complex and unique flavor. When unripe, it has a tart flavor with a sour undertone. This flavor is almost the same as that of green apples. Ripe starfruit has a sweet flavor. However, it still has mild sour undertones.
A lot of people compare the flavor of starfruit to that of green apples, grapes, grapefruit, and ripe pear. However, I believe that the flavor is more complex compared to that of the above-named fruits.
Starfruit has a sharp but pleasant acidity and also has hints of floral essence.
Where to buy starfruit
Like I mentioned at the beginning, starfruit originates from Indonesia. Its growing popularity has made it spread to Asia, but it is still not very popular in the United States.
Most large chain grocery stores do not stock starfruit. However, you can get them at Asian grocery stores.
If you don’t get them, you can try your luck online, although I do not recommend it since you won’t have the opportunity to choose them yourself.
How to choose the best starfruit
The only way you can enjoy starfruit is by choosing the best ones at the grocery stores. Always go for the ripe starfruit since they have a better flavor. Ripe ones are usually bright yellow in color with brown edges.
Do not choose starfruit that is green in color. Those ones are not ripe and have a tart and sour flavor. However, if the starfruit only has a few green patches, it may be ripe enough.
If you do not intend to use starfruit right away, you can always buy the unripe ones and ripen them at home. It is essential to frequently turn the starfruit wherever you store them for even ripening.
Starfruit shelf life and storage
When ripe, star fruit should be eaten within a few days. It is notable that they should always be stored at room temperature.
The best place to store starfruit is on your kitchen counter. This way, they will last for much longer. Starfruit stored on the kitchen counter will last for approximately one week. After that, they may start to go bad.
If you want your ripe starfruit to last for longer than one week, you can store them inside your refrigerator. They will last for two to three weeks. Starfruit can also be frozen if you want them to last for over one month.
Preparing starfruit for cooking
The first and most important thing you need to do is wash the starfruit thoroughly. My favorite thing about starfruit is that the entire fruit is edible, including the waxy skin and seeds.
Therefore, there is absolutely no need to peel the skin before use. However, if you are not a fan of hard seeds you can always deseed the fruit. Simply use a knife to scrape them out.
Cooking with starfruit mostly involves cooking the fruit itself as opposed to adding it to other dishes. Here are a few ways you can enjoy starfruit.
- Bake them
You can bake starfruit to dehydrate it. Dried starfruit makes for a tasty and healthy snack. You can also add dried starfruit to homemade chips, muesli, or trail mix.
- Use it as a stew
Yes, star fruit can be stewed. You can either use it as a substitute in mango dishes that could use a little bit of tropical sweetness or make a stew with spices, ginger, and sugar.
- Make chutney
You can use starfruits to make chutney or sauces.
Culinary uses of starfruit
Here are a few ways you can use your starfruit
- Add to salads
You can slice up raw star fruit and add it to your salads for an exotic taste.
- Add it to your smoothies and juices
Add starfruit to your juices and smoothies for an enhanced flavor. Star fruit complements most juice flavors so you do not have to worry about the taste being ‘off ’.
- Make starfruit juice
You can use star fruit to make starfruit juice. It is one of the most refreshing juices I know. If you want an even more exotic flavor, puree the fruit then mix it with spices and ice.
- Pickle them
You can pickle starfruit. The results will not disappoint you.
- Garnish cocktails
Use starfruit to garnish your cocktails. It is pretty attractive and eye-catching.
- Eat them raw
Eat starfruit raw. I highly recommend serving it with chili powder for an excellent taste.
Although starfruit is not very popular in the United States, it has been around for several years. The best place to buy it is Asian Grocery stores. You’ll get starfruit of good quality there.
Starfruit has a complex and amazing flavor. When ripe, it is sweet with a mild sour undertone. It can be eaten raw but it also has several other culinary uses. I particularly like adding them to my juices and smoothies.
If you have never tried starfruit before, I advise that you try them today.
Let me know if you like it.