If you are looking for something new and exciting to try, then look no further than star fruit or averrhoa carambola. This is an exotic fruit to some but it is native to South America and Southeast Asia, particularly in Sri Lanka. They are not only delicious, but they also contain many health benefits for the body. In this article, we give you how starfruit tastes like as well as its texture and varieties.
Quince Paste is another semi-exotic fruit and marmalade is the best substitute – but you could also consider other citrus-based pastes.
What Does Star Fruit Taste Like
The taste and flavor of star fruit depend on its variety but to give you an idea, most starfruit has a citrus flavor with a little sweetness on it. If you have eaten grapefruit, green apples, or oranges, then you probably have an idea what a star fruit tastes like.
Let us check below the different star fruit varieties and their flavor.
Plantains that are ripe can be served with star fruit.
There are two main varieties of star fruit to carambola: sweet and tart.
Sweet star fruits are more common in Asia and Europe while tart ones are more popular in North America. Both types of star fruits can be found at your local grocery store. The difference between them is that the sweet type has a sweeter flavor while the tart one has a sour taste.
According to the University of Florida, some tart varieties can produce a sweet flavor if they are grown and ripened on the tree before harvesting. Both varieties can grow up to 2 to 6 inches (5-15 cm) in length with a star-shaped section when sliced. If you want to have the sweetest flavor of this tropical fruit, you have to allow it to ripen on the tree for 60 to 75 days. Buying ripe fruit is certainly the way to go.
There are some similarities between passion fruit and dragon fruit. All certainly contribute to making a lovely fruit salad, especially if you add in sliced starfruit and citrus fruit.
You can always sweeten star fruit with a little natural honeycomb.
The texture of star fruit varies depending on the variety. Some may be soft and juicy while others are crunchy. When buying star fruit, make sure that you buy those that are firm and solid. This will ensure that you get one of the best-tasting delicious fruits.
Ripe star fruit contains pale waxy skin without having any color at all; there should not even be any hint of green. On the other hand, unripe star fruit has a firm texture because it has less water content than riped fruits.
What Does Starfruit Smell Like
Since it is a tropical fruit and has a citrus flavor, star fruit smells like lemons or limes. It does not smell bad but it might remind you of these fruits with a sour smell.
The star fruit’s smell is perfect for salads, smoothies, juices, and cocktails. It also goes well with fresh herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro, and parsley.
What Does Unripe Star Fruit Taste Like
When you eat unripe star fruit, you will notice that it has a very bitter taste. This bitterness comes from the fact that the fruit is still growing. As the fruit grows, it starts absorbing nutrients from the soil and it becomes acidic. So when you eat the unripe fruit, you are eating the nutrient-rich part of the plant.
It is not recommendable to eat unripe star fruit because of its unpleasant flavor. But if you wish to try it, it is better to mix it with herbs like cilantro, garlic, onion, and Thai basil. The strong smell and taste of these herbs can help lessen the sourness of unripe star fruit.
You can also use Thai Basil in Pesto for a more Asian taste.
Is Starfruit’s Skin Edible
Yes. The entire fruit is edible, including the waxy skin. Just like apples, you do not need to peel them off unless you do not like them. The skin is a bit firmer, thus you might also want to take it out.
The proper way of eating star fruit is by laying it down flat on the side placed on your chopping board. Then, slice it off pieces from top to bottom. Take out the seeds if you do not want to eat them but you can also leave them there since it is also edible.
What Does Star Fruit Taste Like
The taste of star fruit juice is very similar to the fruit being citrusy with a sour undertone. However, it is often blended with apple and then the taste depends on the variety of apple used. Apple varieties include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Green apple, Rome Beauty, Jonagold, and Honeycrisp.
Other exotic fruits that are often blended with the fruit are
All these tart varieties make great smoothies. For texture add some ripe pear.
How to Select an Edible and Good Starfruit
You should always look for star fruit that has a bright yellow skin color and is firm and plump. Avoid star fruit that looks discolored or bruised. Also, avoid star fruit that feels sticky or slimy.
These are signs that the star fruit is already ripe:
- Slightly browned edges
- The skin has a bright yellow color
- Firm to touch
- Has patches of green color
How to Store Starfruit
Star fruit is one of the highly perishable food that you can have in your kitchen. Having said that, storing it to extend its shelf life is necessary for food safety. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Keep star fruit refrigerated with a temperature at or below 40° Fahrenheit to make it last longer.
2. Do not store star fruit inside plastic bags. Instead, use glass containers so that they maintain their freshness.
3. Slice the fruit after you have cleaned and prepared the glass container. You can also opt not to slice them.
4. You can place the tropical fruit in the freezer if you do not have any plans on consuming it within the week.
What Food Pairs Perfectly with Starfruit
If you are looking for recipes that go great together with star fruit, here are some ideas:
- Banana Smoothie
- Pineapple Smoothie
- Mango Strawberry Smoothie
- Orange Juice
- Watermelon Juice
- Mixed Green Salad
- Avocado and Tomato Salad
- Chicken Caesar Salad
- Fruit Salads
What are the Nutritional Contents and Benefits of Starfruit
Star fruit is being popular for its health benefits and nutritional contents. It has a lot of beneficial plant compounds like gallic acid and quercetin. The United States Department of Agriculture states that 100 grams of star fruit or carambola contain these additional nutrients:
- 1.04 grams protein
- 91.4 grams water
- 2.8 grams total dietary fiber
- 6.73 grams carbohydrate
- 3.98 grams sugar
- 34.4 milligrams vitamin C
- 3 milligrams calcium
- 133 milligrams potassium
- 2 milligrams sodium
- 10 milligrams of magnesium and more.
Just like other citrus fruits, star fruit also contains several essential nutrients; thus it also gives the health benefits that we need. Some of them include:
- Balance the blood sugar levels because of its high amounts of fibers, which helps the blood absorb glucose properly.
- Aids healthy bowel movement because of its soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
- The high fiber content can reduce cholesterol through an acid bowel movement.
- The high fiber content can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease because it is capable of reducing fat molecules from the blood.
- Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines use carambola or star fruit to ease a sore throat, fever, skin problems, and headaches.
Frequently Asked Questions
What fruit is similar to starfruit?
Starfruit is very different from most fruits as it does not taste sweet. Its sour flavor resembles that of grapefruit.
Is starfruit bad for your health?
As per the U.S National Library of Medicines (NLM), there are no known health risks associated with consuming a star fruit that can severely affect anyone’s health condition. Some websites state that neurological disorders or neurological impairment can happen from eating this tropical fruit but it is not proven and scientifically documented. According to the U.S. NLM, Sri Lanka uses this fruit as an aid to health conditions like diabetes mellitus, due to its hypoglycaemic effects.
What does ripe starfruit look like?
As mentioned above, a ripe star fruit would like yellow skin color. It should be firm enough to be easily squeezed out of its skin. If you want to buy star fruit online, make sure that you purchase only those that are fully ripe.