When you see the starfruit, you don’t need to ask why it is called starfruit. When it is sliced into cross/horizontal sections, the slices of the fruit resemble a five-pointed star. Starfruit is well known worldwide but is more popular in tropical areas. Also known as Carambola, they are green when unripe and yellow when ripe.
Starfruit is peculiar and quite special because you don’t come across a fruit that looks like a star every day. As it does in every person, curiosity would kick in and make you wonder what it tastes like.
What does starfruit taste like? Starfruit tastes sweet with a bit of tanginess when it is ripe. The more ripe a starfruit is, the lesser the tanginess. On the other hand, unripe starfruit can taste very sour or bitter. Starfruit is sweet but it maintains its versatility and can be used in many recipes and dishes.
Aside from the fact that you can eat it, it might be able to serve an aesthetic purpose in numerous dishes.
The flavor and taste of the star fruit could be complex as it wholly depends on if you pick the right fruit or not. Starfruit has a soft but firm texture that has a crunch when you bite into it.
Now that you know what starfruit tastes like, let’s look at how it benefits the human body and the various ways in which you can eat it.
Nutritional Benefits of Starfruit
Starfruit doesn’t lack when it comes to nutritional benefits to the human body. Starfruit contains natural antioxidants like Vitamin C and gallic acid. These antioxidants help to fight off oxidative stress. If there is no oxidative stress, the development of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases would be stunted.
Starfruit also contains minerals. Minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, beta-carotene, and potassium. All these minerals are necessary for the proper working of the human body. Iron, manganese, and zinc are also present in starfruit, and they all do a good job of strengthening the immune system and keeping everyday illnesses away.
That is not all that starfruit has to offer. Starfruit has a high fiber content that can control blood glucose concentration. Meaning that it could keep blood sugar levels in check. Starfruit can also enhance the removal of cholesterol and bile acid through bowel movements due to its high fiber content.
However, if you consume starfruit juice and not the fruit itself, you would not get fiber because the fiber-rich part of the fruit is not added to the juice. So, to get the full package of nutrients that the starfruit has to offer, one has to take both the beverage and the entire fruit itself. You could make it into a smoothie if that would make it better.
Starfruit has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat skin diseases like eczema. It might also be influential in keeping ulcers and tumors at bay.
Culinary Uses of Starfruit
Starfruit can be eaten as it is. The entire fruit is edible so there is no need to peel it before you eat. Just make sure you give it a good wash before eating it. You can also decide to spit out the seed if you are not comfortable with eating them. Starfruit can also be cooked but it limits how it can be used and makes it ineligible for intricate dishes.
But, dried starfruit can be enjoyed as a snack, you can bake or freeze-dry to dehydrate the fruit and enjoy it. Dehydrated starfruit serves as a great addition to homemade chips or muesli. The versatility of starfruit doesn’t stop there, it can be used as a substitute for mango in various dishes and any dish that needs the addition of tropical sweetness.
Starfruit can also be added to stews and fruits if you like to explore. But to get the best out of it, accompany it with some spices, ginger, and sugar. You could make it into a starfruit chutney or sauce.
Where is Starfruit Grown? How Do You Procure It?
Starfruit is native to tropical Southeast Asia precisely in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It is also grown in parts of East Asia, the Caribbean, Micronesia, and South Asia. Starfruit or Carambola as it is officially known can be grown in tropical climes in various parts of the world.
The fruit has been cultivated for ages in Southeast Asia so that is where starfruit originates from. In southern China, India, and Taiwan, it is being cultivated for commercial purposes. Gradually the cultivation of starfruit has migrated to South America and Central America.
If you want to buy starfruit in the United States, it might be quite a chore to lay your hands on it. While it is quite popular in Asia, it hasn’t quite made its way to North America yet. But if you happen to come across an Asian Grocer, you would have better luck than going to a large grocery store.
Can Starfruit Kill You?
To an extent for people with kidney diseases, starfruit can be dangerous. Starfruit has a high oxalate content, eating them can prove to be very fatal to people with Kidney diseases. Starfruit also contains a neurotoxin that can cause neurological disorders. People with healthy kidneys can process this toxin out of their bodies.
If one’s kidney is not healthy, the toxin would remain in the body and can lead to starfruit poisoning. This condition can be life-threatening and could lead to death.
Facts You Don’t Know About Starfruit
- In some parts of the world, starfruit is grown as an ornamental plant. It is considered to be at risk of being tagged as an invasive species in many world regions.
- There are two main types of starfruit: Small and Sour, Big and Sweet. The sour variety has a higher oxalic content than the sweet one.