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All About Star Apple

Imagine a sweet grape crossed with a ripe persimmon and a splash of cream. That’s the flavor and texture you can expect from a star apple. These members of the sapote family have sweet, scoopable flesh inside a leathery rind. Excellent raw, cooked or sipped, star apples are a truly special fruit experience!

At FruitStand, we look forward to sending you a beautiful package of these extraordinary fruits from our small specialty farms partners. Keep reading to learn all about star apples!

The first reaction to tasting a star apple is usually “wow!” Imagine a sweet grape crossed with a ripe persimmon. That’s the flavor and texture you can expect from a star apple. The flavor nuances change among varieties like the green-skinned blanco star or the plum-colored Hatian star, but all have a sugary sweet, bright, tropical flavor and delicate, creamy, jellylike texture.

This is no ordinary apple. In fact, it’s not an apple at all! Star apples get their name from the pattern of seeds at the center of their incredibly soft fruit. Also known as caimito or cainito, hatian star (purple), blanco star (slightly smaller and green), or aguay. Throughout the world, star apple is referred to as pomme de lait, milk fruit or breast milk fruit because of the creamy latex that weeps throughout the soft flesh.

Star apples aren’t just delicious, they’re beautiful too! Outside, star apple varieties range in color from purple to green. Inside, the flesh is either purple or white, and naturally occurring white latex permeates the flesh. The fruit’s texture is similar to a grape, with a milky consistency that can feel almost jellylike. The inedible seeds in the center range from brown to black, and are arranged in a star pattern.

If you’re lucky enough to have a star apple in your hand, it’s ripe enough to eat! Even though star apples are only harvested when they’re ripe, their flavor keeps developing as they mature after picking. Star apples can be somewhat round, oblong or a little pear shaped, and are usually about two to four inches across. Whether a green or purple variety, star apple rinds are leathery and smooth, and will have some normal wrinkling. Check for fruit that feels heavy for its size in your hand, and that it yields to gentle pressure for your thumb. Big star apple fans swear by chilling the star apples for the best flavor experience.

The trick to having the best star apple eating experience is to know how to slice it. You see, the inedible rind contains natural latex that can put a damper on your tastebuds if it touches too much of the delicate fruit inside. To minimize this, we recommend chilling the star apple, then carefully scoring the fruit around its circumference while avoiding the hard seeds in the center. Then, twist the fruit open to reveal the star shape inside that gives star apples their moniker.

Star apples are believed to be native to Central America and the Caribbean. Today, they’re cultivated in the United States and Asia as well. They’re the fruit of a fast growing, shrubby tree whose leaves and bark are known to be used for their medicinal properties.

Star apples are believed to be native to Central America and the Caribbean. Today, they’re cultivated in the United States and Asia as well. They’re the fruit of a fast growing, shrubby tree whose leaves and bark are known to be used for their medicinal properties.

Star apples come into season around February in the late winter and are available through the early summer, around June. Enjoy star apples in the spring during their peak season.

Whether a star apple shipment is certified organic or not will depend on the farm where it was grown. At FruitStand, we only partner with the best specialty farms for exceptional quality of produce. When each harvest is available, we'll tell you whether the fruit is considered organic or conventional.

Are you looking for fresh star apple fruits? Great news! FruitStand is proud to partner with small, specialty farmers to bring you exceptional quality, fresh star apples. To be the first to know when FruitStand is shipping star apple harvests, join our email newsletter!

Still curious about star apples? Join our FruitStand community on Facebook for tips, tricks, recipes and more!

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