Give a Star to this Strange-Looking Tropical Fruit!

starfruitWant to bring a little bit of sun and more cheerfulness into your winter. Go to the grocery store because there you can find a huge variety of tropical fruits. The taste and color of these funky shaped fruits can bring some summer into your life and simmer up your imagination.  “Where does this fruit come from?”  “What does it taste like?” “If I put it into my cart, what in the heck can I do with it?”

My suggestion: Buy it and try it. It’s as simple as that!

One variety of tropical fruit that I really enjoy is star fruit. The fruit is a native of India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia and I’m glad that we get to enjoy it here in North America! Starfruit also goes by the name, “Carambola.”  Guess what it’s shaped like? Yep, a star! It has a paper-thin, translucent waxy skin and is green in color when raw, becoming golden-yellow when ripe. Star fruit is extremely juicy and rich in antioxidants. It’s also high in fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium and very low in fat, cholesterol and sodium.

There are two main varieties of star fruit: sweet and tart. The sweet ones are available from summer to winter; the tart ones are available from late summer to mid winter.

When choosing a star fruit, make sure it is heavy for its size, firm, with shiny skin and even-colored. Avoid purchasing fruit with brown, shriveled ribs.

You can eat the whole fruit; some may prefer to get rid of some seeds but you can just trim off the ends, slice it thin and enjoy. Some compare its taste as a mixture of plum, pineapple and lemons. Others say it reminds them of papaya, orange and grapefruit.  Trust me, the taste is good!

Star fruit can be eaten raw, tossed in salads, included in chutney and tarts and can be juiced. It is great add-in when making smoothies. You can definitely also use it in hot dishes. I add it to chicken, fish and pork. Because of its aroma, it pairs well with five-spice powder, cinnamon and brown sugar. It also blends well with savory components like soy sauce and chilies. In case you’re wondering, star fruit compliments wine perfectly.

Because of its shape, I use star fruit a lot during the holiday season. It’s festive, cheery and versatile.

Click here for a simple salad you can make for a holiday party or even enjoy all year-round.