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Star Apple FAQs

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. They’re 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.

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 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 seeds at the center range from brown to black, and are arranged in a star pattern.

Star apples are only harvested once they’re ripe. So if you’re lucky enough to have a star apple in your hand, it’s ripe enough to eat! The flavor keeps developing as they mature after harvesting. 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.

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 too much touches 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.

From there, simply scoop the flesh from the rind and separate it from the hard, pointy seeds. Star apple seeds are known to be toxic, and the latex in the rind can cause some discomfort in the mouth, so these should be discarded.

Star apple seeds are known to be toxic, and are therefore inedible. When diving into these delicious fruits, be sure to avoid the hard, pointy seeds in the center. Each dark seed has a clear, pulpy coating that makes it easier to pull them away from the fruit.

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 Apple Nutrition Estimate (100g)

  • Calories: 67
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Calcium: 17mg
  • Phosphorus: 22mg

Star apples come into season around February in the late winter and are available through the early summer, around June.

Star apples add fruity oomph to all kinds of dishes and beverages! Eat fresh, raw star apple directly from the rind as a refreshing snack or include it with salads, cheese plates, yogurt and granola bowls. It’s persimmon-like flavor and lychee-like texture adds crispness, sweetness and body to beverages and dishes in every section of your menu!

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 nuanced flavor changes among varieties like the green-skinned blanco star or the plum-colored Hatian star, but all of them have a sugary sweet, bright, tropical flavor and delicate, creamy, jellylike texture. Big star apple fans swear by chilling the star apples for the best flavor experience!

Around the world, star apple varieties are enjoyed raw directly from the rind and in cooked recipes, too. The delicate, grape-meets-persimmon flesh of the star apple is particularly well suited for sweet recipes including jams, candies, sorbets and fruity pastries. Use it as an accompaniment to fresh cheese plates, stew it in your favorite fruit compotes, top your salads, granola and yogurt bowls with them, or chop it into your next ceviche. Star apples are versatile fruits that can add special oomph to just about any dish!

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. From there, simply scoop the flesh from the rind and separate it from the hard, pointy seeds. Star apple seeds are known to be toxic, and the latex in the rind can cause some discomfort in the mouth, so these should be discarded.

Star apples are beloved throughout the world in drinkable form. Their flesh is very juicy and a little creamy from the natural latex that permeates the grape like flesh. Chop it into milk tea, feed the flesh into an electric juicer for refreshingly sweet, tropical juice or cook it into a syrup for crafty cocktails. Whatever the beverage, star apple will add fresh, unexpected fruit flavor.

Store fresh star apples on the countertop until ripe, then stock them away in a sealed container in the refrigerator where they’ll last for up to two weeks. Not only do star apple fans swear by chilling the fruit, refrigerating also keeps them fresher for longer.

 Star apple can also be frozen. To freeze star apples, wait until they are fully ripened then separate the flesh from the inedible seeds and rind. Protect the fruit in freezer-safe wrapping or a sealed container for the best flavor. The fruit will keep in the freezer for about three months.

Yes, dogs can eat star apple. Star apple is high in sugar, so consider it a special treat and only offer it in small amounts. Be sure to remove the inedible skin and seeds before sharing it with your four legged friend.

Over at FruitStand, we love sharing fruit with our canine buddies, so we encourage you to clear the safety of any new fruits or veggies with your veterinarian before offering them your pooch.

Star fruit has bold, purplish magenta fruit with naturally occurring latex that can leave a stain on certain fabrics. If this happens, spot treat the mark with stain remover that’s appropriate for that particular fabric. Call your favorite local dry cleaner if star apple fruit has left a stain on delicate or challenging fabrics.

Fruit Geek 101: Keep a portable stain stick on hand for impromptu fruit feasts. Quickly treating a fruit juice spot greatly increases your chances of avoiding a stain.

With fruit this juicy and delicious, things could get messy. Star apples have purple fruit that can leave a mark on certain fabrics. If this happens, spot treat the mark with stain remover that’s appropriate for that particular fabric.

The star apple and black sapote share key similarities, but are quite different experiences of fruit. Star apple and black sapote are both roundish fruits with large seeds in the center that are arranged in a starlike pattern. Both of them have very soft, scoopable fruit inside that shares some flavor with their cousin, the persimmon. Similarly, the skin and seeds of these tasty fruits are inedible.

Side by side, however, it’s easy to tell the difference between star apple and black sapote. Star apples are much rounder in shape, and do not contain a calyx, the cap of “leaves” (it’s actually the flower of the plant) on top like the squat black sapote does. Inside, the star apple fruit is equally scoopable directly from the rind, but has a brighter, sweeter flavor than the black sapote. Star apple fruit is a translucent purple color that weeps with naturally occurring white latex, whereas the black sapote fruit is chocolate brown with an avocado like texture.

Have your star apples gone from pleasant to pungent? It’s easy to get rid of bad smells from expired star apples in a few simple steps. First, discard any spoiled fruit. Then, clean the area where star apples were stored with hot, soapy water or home cleaning spray. Let it dry thoroughly.

To prevent bad smells from fruit in your kitchen and home, keep an old-fashioned box of baking soda in your fridge and anywhere you store food every two to three months to prevent unpleasant aromas before they start. Immediately refrigerate cut star apple in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When not refrigerated, store whole, fresh fruit in a cool, clean and well ventilated area. See our section on how to store star apples  for help on keeping them fresher for longer!

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!

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