Star fruit may be hard to come by. That means you may not know how to buy, store, or eat this fruit. Learn more about star fruit so you can serve it to your little stars.
Where is star fruit found?
This fruit comes from the Carambola tree found in South East Asia. It loves hot humid sub-tropical environments but it can be grown just about anywhere. When outside of its favored locations, this tree should be grown in a greenhouse to replicate those subtropical conditions.
While the Carambola tree got its start in Sri Lanka and the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia, you will find it growing in China, Brazil, the Philippines, and similar sub-tropical countries.
Many people have had success growing in their backyards in pots but without a greenhouse, this tree usually does not survive the winter months.
Where to buy star fruit?
Some people say this fruit is hard to get and that may be true if you are only looking in your supermarket for this fruit. It is not always in high demand outside of South East Asia or South America so you may not find it locally.
But if you search online, you will find many different internet stores that specialize in fruit carrying this option. From Amazon to Melissa’s Produce to Instacart, there is star fruit on sale all over the web.
Walmart’s internet store should have some as well but it may not be fresh fruit you are buying.
Where is start fruit located in the grocery store?
If it is offered by your local supermarket or grocery store, it will be in the Produce section of your local grocer if they carry it. There is no guarantee that they will sell this fruit due to its lack of popularity.
Also, this fruit does not stay ripe for very long so many grocers may not want to stock this item as it tends to go bad very quickly. If your grocer is selling mainly fruit, you may find it somewhere in the aisles of that store.
It will be placed where it is most convenient for the grocer to remove it at night for overnight storage.
What does start fruit look like?
At first glance, this fruit looks like any other fruit except for its elevated lines. It does not look that special but it does look unique. The real difference comes in when you start cutting star fruit into thin slices.
Once you do that, you can see how it got its name. Each slice looks like a tiny little star. That look is what makes this fruit so special. These slices make any dessert dish look brighter and more special.
You can tell it from its natural green color. The green will change to yellow as this fruit ripens. But if it gets a purplish tinge to it, especially on the inside, then the fruit is over-ripe.
What to look for when you are buying star fruit?
When you are shopping for this fruit, you may find it all green at your grocers. That is okay as the fruit does ripen off the branch. When it is green the star fruit is not fully ripe but is on its way to being ripe.
When it is ripe, you will first see a dull yellow color on the skin. As the fruit ripens it will get to a bright yellow color. Both stages are okay to eat this fruit. Just as long as the fruit is hard and firm to the touch.
When it is overripe, the fruit will still be yellow, have wrinkles on its skin, and feel mushy to the touch. The edges may look shriveled as well.
When is the best time to buy fresh star fruit?
Star fruit is harvested right after the rainy season in the tropical countries it is grown. This means this fruit is in season between May and September of each year. That is the best time to buy this fruit.
However, star fruit is grown in many different locations today, so you may be able to find good star fruit at any time during the year. Those times may bring tasty, ripe star fruit but they are not the best times to buy this fruit.
How much does star fruit cost?
We have seen star fruit sell for $12 per pound approx. at Amazon. It is hard to say what Instacart charges as one may go for as much as $4.59 for 1 ct. They shop through different stores so the prices may vary in this marketplace.
Melissa’s is selling 6-star fruit for $20.79 through Amazon. The price range will vary depending on who is doing the selling. Plus, you may live in an expensive city with a high cost of living so your prices may be higher than what is reported here.
Instead of buying fresh star fruit, you can hop on over to Walmart’s internet store and pick up a pound of dried star fruit. That is if they have it in stock. The cost will be $12.95 unless it changes when the new stock arrives.
Some final words
When you and your family want something nutritious but not the same old thing. Turn to star fruit. It is nutritious and its unique design will liven up any dessert or meal. This fruit’s unique taste will make dessert and mealtime more interesting.
Star fruit can be eaten fresh, sliced and added to salads or fruit plates, or used in smoothies and juices. It can also be cooked in savory dishes or used to make jams and chutneys.