In the spirit of fruit hunters I decided to go ahead and try some new fruit that I could find at my local supermarket. One that I’ve never tried before but always found interesting due to its unique shape is the starfruit or Carambola.
After getting it home I looked on-line for how you were supposed to eat it and the general consensus is to wash it, cut off both ends, peel a thin strip off the tips of the five points, slice it so you get super cute star shaped pieces, pull out the seeds and then you can eat it skin and all. The seeds were kind of like a mix between a melon and an apple, dark in colour with a goopy jelly layer that surrounds just the outside of each individual seed. The fruit itself is firm with a kind of waxy skin that was a happy yellow colour that reminded me a bit of the nifty stars in Mario Bros. Could they give me super powers?
Interestingly enough I also found out online that there is a warning about this fruit, which immediately made me nervous (of course), but kind of ups the sense of adventure. You see, if you have kidney issues, like are on dialysis, have kidney disease or stones, this is not a fruit you should try. The problem ingredients in the fruit are either the high amount of oxalic acid (which is found in many foods but is particularly concentrated in starfruit) or a neurotoxin called caramboxin which can lead to such things as hiccups, insomnia, intoxication and occasionally death. So…uh, is this starfruit or death fruit!? I mean, I can see getting some indigestion from new foods but…occasionally death?!? So much for super powers. What kind of crap are they selling at Safeway? Thinking about this and seeing very little in the death department for things online (although it did make it into the popular snopes debunking website) I took a deep breath and relaxed. Rationalizing that I was probably extremely low risk since I don’t have any kidney issues (that I know of – hello starfruit warning system patent) and since I was going to share one and not eat a bucket full we’ll just call it an adventure. So, warning shmorning, I was gonna give it a try.
So, what’s it taste like? Well, texture and flavour wise it is most similar to the crunchy juiciness of an apple with a hint of something that I’m thinking might be like pear or citrus and is a little bit sweet and a little bit sour (my palate is really not very sophisticated – sorry guys, that’s the best I can do). Would I buy it again? Maybe, but if I stuck with apples I wouldn’t have to worry about neurotoxins…granted I’d have to cut my apples into fancy star shapes to get them to look as cool as this fruit…decisions, decisions.
Have you tried Star fruit? What do you think of it?