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Star apples range in size from little (about 5 centimeters in diameter) to medium (about 10 centimeters in diameter) in form. When young, the skin of the fruit is thin, glossy, and leathery; as it ripens, it changes to various hues of reddish-purple, green, and dark purple. The rind, which can be any shade from yellow to dark brown and is home to a sticky, inedible latex, also holds the skin tightly.
Dark purple rinds measuring between 6 and 12.5 millimeters are characteristic of purple Star apples, whereas thin, white rinds measuring between 3 and 5 millimeters are characteristic of green Star apples. The skin and rind, which together account for around 33% of the fruit, are not edible and must be thrown away. Only the flesh surrounding the seeds is eaten, and it has a mild, sweet, delicate flavor similar to lychee, persimmons, and rambutan.
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The best time to buy star apples is in the spring and early summer.Chrysophyllum cainito, the formal name for star apples, is a member of the Sapotaceae family of plants. The trees, which can grow as tall as 18 meters, produce the fruit in subtropical and tropical climates around the world and are a common sight along highways and in suburban backyards.
The Star apple family includes both a purple-skinned variety and a green-skinned variety. Fruit connoisseurs, however, argue that the purple variety is slightly sweeter and denser, while the green fruits are softer and more neutral in taste. The sweet, juicy fruits are typically eaten straight from the container, but they also have use in baking, salads, and drinks.
Benefits of Star Apple to Your Health
Star apples are rich in vitamin C, which helps the body fight off infections and reduce inflammation, as well as phosphorus and calcium, which are essential for healthy bones and teeth. Antioxidants protect cells from harm caused by free radicals; the fruits also supply trace levels of niacin, iron, and thiamine. It is commonly believed that the mucilaginous flesh of a Star apple can coat and minimize inflammation in the airways, making it an effective remedy for a sore throat in the Caribbean.
How to Consume Star Fruit Apple
The star apple’s subtle sweetness and earthiness make it a versatile ingredient in both raw and cooked dishes. The fruits are enjoyed fresh, out of hand, sliced in half, and scooped with a spoon due to their visual appeal and their soft, jelly-like feel. The skin of a star apple has a sticky, latex-like texture that makes it undrinkable and unappealing.Buy Star Apple Tropical Fruit Box
The fruits should be chilled before serving, and the latex should be avoided by cutting around the fruit, only going halfway in, and then twisting and pulling the halves apart. Star apples can be used in a variety of ways, including as a fresh fruit addition to cheese plates, in salads, fruit bowls, and even ceviche. The flesh of star apples, after removed from the skin and seeds, can be packed and stored for up to three months.
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Star apples are a metaphor for miserly people in Jamaica. In Jamaica, the word “kumoochin” is used to emphasize someone’s tightfistedness, and phrases like “You mean like a Star apple?” and “Yu kumoochin like a Star apple” are common ways of describing someone who is being miserly. Star apples are notorious for not falling off the tree, even when fully ripe. Moreover, the huge trees can display a wealth of ripe fruits at once, luring in the inhabitants’ appetites.
Jamaicans think Star apple trees are mean because they won’t give their excess fruit away to the hungry. To further boost the dish’s flavor, freshly grated nutmeg is occasionally added.
History of Star Apple
Experts agree that star apple trees have been growing wild in the West Indies for at least a thousand years, and that this is where the fruit originated. Ancient humans and animals dispersed fruit seeds over the Caribbean and southern Mexico and Central America, where the trees eventually became indigenous. The Spanish explorer Ciezo de Leon made the first written mention of star apples in Argentina and Peru between 1532 and 1550.
When in season, star apples can be purchased through farmer’s markets, wholesalers, producers, and internet sellers in any country with a tropical climate. Fruit trees are primarily planted in Florida, next Hawaii, and finally in the backyards of those who are interested in growing exotic fruits in the states of Southern California, Texas, and Arizona.