Brooks Tropicals Talks About the Celestial Starfruit

Here’s another in the series of interesting newsletters that Richard Lyons’ Nursery receives from Brooks Tropicals. This issue deals with carambola — the delightful starfruit. Brooks notes that its fruit comes from Pine Island, where soils are sandy. However, starfruit trees grow equally well in the shallow limestone soils of Miami-Dade County where Richard Lyons’ Nursery is located. We sell the fruit, as well as several grafted cultivars of the tree itself.

Starfruit – refreshing and versatile

Florida starfruit is in season July through April. Brooks Tropicals grows them in the sandy soils of Pine Island on the west coast of Florida.

It’s only right that starfruit chefs should treat themselves. Shaken or stirred, try a starfruit martini.

In This Issue
Starfruit and berries dessert bites

Florida starfruit are at the peak of their season. Take time to enjoy this fruit that can easily star in appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts.

For appetizers, forget the crackers when starfruit’s in season.

Chimichurri starfruit delights

Just slice into stars and top for the occasion.

Starfruit on Roman holiday

The fruit’s versatile going sweet or savory. Perfect for whetting your appetite or cleansing your palate.

If you’re new to starfruit, don’t worry. You can enjoy by simply biting into it, like an apple. Or slice, for an easy snack.

If you want to go beyond the simply sublime, we also have plenty of tips and recipes for you to peruse.

Star ripe, star bright   
Sizing up starfruit  A little green, a little tart

Florida starfruit are usually 4 to 5 inches long. The width of the fruit can vary.

You can easily gauge how many slices you can get out of a starfruit and, in turn, how many starfruit you’ll need for a dish.  Here’s more help on sizing up the fruit.

When the fruit has a tinge of green – like the first 2 in the photo above – it will have a slightly tart taste. Leave it on your kitchen counter for a few days and it will yellow and sweeten. As it sweetens, the ribs of the fruit will turn brown. Just skim off the browned edges before slicing.

Nutritional facts
Starfruit tree
Starfruit on the tree
One starfruit (1 cup cubed) has 76 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. For only 41 calories, it carries a big nutritional punch.
If you have kidney problems, check with your doctor before eating starfruit.

Garnishing with starfruit 
2 x 2 ways to enjoy starfruit

Starfruit’s replacing maraschino cherries as the garnish of choice. Besides its great taste and shape, starfruit’s golden yellow color doesn’t need any food coloring.

Topping a starfruit juice or a starfruit and dragonfruit smoothie with a “star” is easy. Here are some garnishing tips for any dish and, of course, a link to the drink recipes.

Starfruit martini
In This Issue
Let the stars come out tonight
Starfruit fruit salad with starfruit pesto on the side
Tropical dessert topped with coconut cream
Starfruit, hot off the grill
Baked chicken and stars casserole

Yours in the tropics,

Mary Ostlund

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