What IS a Star Fruit?

The Star Fruit is a unique tropical fruit that is gaining popularity in the United States. This fruit acquired it's name from the five pointed star shape it makes when cut across the middle. The star fruit is originally from Sri Lanka and the Moluccas, and has been grown in Southeast Asia and Malaysia for almost 1,000 years. The Star Fruits thrives on growing in a warm environment so they are also grown throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, Florida and Hawaii in today's modern world. There are two varieties of Star Fruit: one sour and the other slightly sweet.

Star Fruits grow on a bushy tree that can be 25 to 30 feet high. The leaves  of the tress are sensitive to touch and light, folding up at night or when touched. This tropical fruit is readily available July through February. Star fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, low fat, and is also naturally free of sodium and cholesterol.  Also, it's waxy peel provides a good amount of dietary fiber.

Star fruits bruise easily, so  it must be handled with care. Non-ripe Star Fruits should be turned often, until they become yellow in color and ripe with light brown ribs. Keep the ripe fruits at room temperature for two to three days or unwashed, and refrigerated, in a plastic bag for up to one to two weeks. Star Fruits are generally used as a garnish in salads, sorbets, drinks, as well as to create a tart flavor in dishes.

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