Since moving to Puerto Rico, we have planted, grown and tried all sorts of different tropical fruits. So far, my favorite is the starfruit, or carambola. When I tell people this and they tell me that they don’t like starfruit, I figure that they must just be doing it wrong ;). Choosing and preparing a starfruit is very simple as long as you know what you are looking for.
How to choose a ripe starfruit: Starfruits come in green (not ripe), yellow (ripe) and orange (over ripe). The best time to eat a starfruit is right off of the tree, which is why those expensive starfruit that you find in your big box grocery store taste like nothing exciting (or even gross) and should really only be used for fancy drink garnishes. If you live in the tropics and can get fresh starfruit, be stoked, and move on to the next paragraph…
How to eat a starfruit / carambola: There are two ways to eat a starfruit, pick it up and eat it like an apple, or cut it up. If you choose to just dive right in and eat it like an apple, go for it! I prefer to nibble the tough ridges off of the lobes, spit those out and eat the juicy lobes then toss the core. When I eat them like this, I don’t feel like I’m getting enough and have to eat several starfruit to get my fix. Personally, I prefer to spend an extra minute to cut up the starfruit for maximum edibility.
How to prepare and cutup a starfruit:
1. Wash your starfruit. I organically grow my own starfruit, but it’s always a good idea to give them a good rinse before preparing or eating.
2. Cut off one end of the starfruit. I start preparing my starfruit by cutting off the end and standing it up on the cut end for preparation of step 3.
3. Trim off the edges. Starfruit grows 5 distinct lobes that come to a point. The edge of the lobes are a little bit tough (although not inedible), so I prefer to trim off the edges. I very lightly trim the 5 edges, like you are peeling/skinning something.
4. Slice the starfruit. Cut the starfruit into 1/2″ – 1″ slices. OMG they look like stars! 🙂
5. Remove the seeds. I take the end of the knife and poke the seeds out of the center of the starfruit. There are not that many seeds, so this takes very little time.
6. Enjoy! Eat your delicious starfuit, throw them in some sangria or garnish a favorite dish or drink.
While I prefer my starfruit / carambola cut, starfruit was my daughters first solid food and she definitely preferred them whole. Check her trying to devour this starfruit at 5 months old (Note the windmill arms anytime it was taken from her…hilarious!):
Looking to try starfruit for yourself? Look, you can get 3 whole starfruit on Amazon for…$932.88! Hahaha. Wtf?