Celestial Starfruit

Only one fruit can offer such a stellar shape when sliced cross-wise. The Starfruit, also known as the Carambola, is a beautiful tropical fruit that’s now in season and available in select supermarket produce departments.

Starfruits have five prominent ribs running the entire length of the fruit, which can vary from 4 to 10 inches long. The Starfruit’s glossy golden skin encloses a translucent, crispy and juicy flesh. The flavor is sometimes compared to a light lemony apple-grape-pear combination with slight tropical notes.

Starfruit is high in vitamin C, and is fabulously refreshing in the hot summer months. When ripe, the skin turns a pale to golden yellow color with some brown spots along the ridges, which indicate sugar development. (An overripe fruit will be yellow with brown spots.) Refrigerate ripe fruit immediately and consume within a few days.

Grown all over the world in tropical climates, Frieda’s Specialty Produce distributes Starfruit from Taiwan and sometimes Florida. Taiwan-grown Starfruit tend to be larger and firmer than Florida crop.

Starfruit is easy to enjoy fresh, and really adds visual interest to dishes and drinks with those beautiful five-point star slices. Simply slice off the very outer tips of each of the ribs, to remove any of the off-color sugar spots. Then slice the fruit crosswise into star shapes and poke out any seeds.

Add fresh Starfruit slices to fruit salads, fruit and cheese platters, or use to garnish cocktails. Get creative with fruit kebabs and thread star-shaped slices on skewers with other fruits, such as strawberries and kiwifruit.

You can also grill or lightly sauté fresh Starfruit to bring out the natural juices and soften the texture. The slightly sweet lemony flavor makes a nice addition to sweet-and-sour dishes with an Asian flavor profile. Some even blend the juicy fruits into a beverage with sugar and cinnamon for a cooling cocktail.

Here’s a simple, yet glamorous way to serve Starfruit at your next party or gathering:

Champagne Fruit Compote

Suggested sliced and peeled fresh fruit:
Starfruit slices
Kiwifruit slices
Asian Pear slices
Orange or grapefruit sections
Melon chunks
Pineapple wedges
Mango chunks
Champagne or sparkling wine

For each serving, place desired fruit chunks in a long-stemmed glass. Pour champagne or sparkling wine over fruit to cover. Makes as many servings as desired.

Source: Frieda’s Inc.