What Does Star Fruit Taste Like?


If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating a tropical starfruit before, you might be wondering exactly what does star fruit taste like? And that indeed is a good question, one that we will provide an answer among other commonly asked questions relating to the beautifully colored and shaped fruit.

star fruit sliced on a white plate

What Is Star Fruit?

Star fruit is a beautiful oblong shaped tropical fruit that is also known as carambola. As it grows on trees, it is green in color and as it ripens it gradually turns yellow in color.  The neat thing about star fruit is when it is sliced it is naturally the shape of a five-point star, thus its name.

What are the Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Star Fruit?

As you might guess, there is significant nutritional value and health benefits that can come from eating star fruit. But, if you’re someone who has health concerns or kidney problems, you could find more drawbacks than benefits from consuming star fruit.

Star Fruit Nutrition Facts

There are many health benefits to eating star fruit. They are known for being a great source of vitamin C as well as smaller amounts of potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Below are the estimated nutrition facts for a single serving of star fruit.

Calories 28
Fat 0.3g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 2mg
Carbohydrates 6.1g
Dietary Fiber 2.6g
Total Sugar 3.6g
Protein 1g
Vitamin D 0mcg
Calcium 3mg
Iron 0mg
Potassium 121mg

Star Fruit Is Loaded With Healthy Plant Compounds

Star fruit is loaded with healthy compounds that can provide significant benefit. It includes antioxidant properties as well as healthy plant compounds such as quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid.

Warning About Star Fruit: Safety and Side Effects

People with kidney problems should use caution when eating star fruit or perhaps consider avoiding it altogether. Eating star fruit regularly for those with kidney problems can lead to kidney damage. Star fruit contains oxalates which can cause adverse effects in some people. However, star fruit is good for people who are generally healthy.  

star fruit whole and stacked

How to Eat It

Star fruit can be washed and eaten. The thin, fleshly skin is also consumed. Sometimes seeds can be found inside and those should be removed. The beautiful part of eating star fruit is slicing it to make five-point stars and enhancing any salad, fruit salad, or dish.

What Does Starfruit Taste Like, and What Texture Does it Have?

The big question of the day is what does star fruit taste like? And answers can vary from person to person, or even from star fruit to star fruit.

It is important to know that there are two kinds of star fruit. The larger variety is a sweeter flavor. And the smaller one is a sourer, but milder flavor.

We recently purchased some beautiful star fruit from the local farm market while traveling in Florida.  We carefully selected fruit that were fresh in appearance and ripe. A group of 7 of us sat and discussed the results of what the star fruit we ate tasted like. Here are the results:

citrusy celery

The texture of star fruit is firm as well as delightfully crispy.

What Does Star Fruit Taste Like? [And Tips For Eating This Tropical Fruit]

We would say the results of our analysis indicated that star fruit are quite mild in flavor, at least for the variety that we tested. Here are our tips for eating this tropical fruit.

Ripen. Make sure that your star fruit is as ripe as possible before preparing it to be eaten. A perfectly ripe star fruit will have minimal if any green color and will be a nice gold color in appearance. Star fruit that is working toward being over ripe will have skin that begins to turn brown.

Chill. We like to chill our star fruit in the refrigerator overnight before eating them. It’s a matter of personal preference. Maybe you prefer fruit that has been sitting at room temperature.

Wash. Gently wash the outside of the fruit using warm water and a mild soap to remove any chemicals or spray.

Slice. Thinly slice your star fruit using a good sharp knife and using lots of back-and-forth motion. You’ll want to be careful not to smoosh the fruit but rather create a nice, thin cut.  

Remove Seeds. Once you’ve created the thin slices, you can use your knife to remove any seeds and discarding them from the pieces of fruit.

star fruit being sliced

Does Eating Star Fruits Cause Health Problems?

Eating star fruit for a generally healthy person is not likely to have any adverse effects. But for those who have kidney problems, eating star fruit can have a harmful toxic effect and potentially lead to serious illness.

Where To Buy Star Fruit?

Where you buy star fruit can depend on where you live. If you live in a tropical location, star fruit can likely be found at farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and the local grocery store.

But if you live in a location that’s not tropical, you’ll likely need to resort to larger grocery stores or online sources for star fruit.

How Do I Choose a Star Fruit?

To choose a star fruit that is ripe, you’ll want to select one that is nice bright yellow in color and may have slightly browned edges. Having a little bit of green can be okay too, but having a lot of green means that the star fruit is not yet ripened.

A good star fruit should be firm to the touch.

How Do I Store Star Fruit? How Long Does it Last?

If you’ve gotten your hands on star fruit, then you’ll likely want to know how best to store it to keep it fresh. Here’s how:

Ripe. If the star fruit is ripe, it can generally be kept for about a week inside the refrigerator before it needs to be used. Once the fruit becomes fully ripe it is more difficult and more fragile to maintain.

Under ripe. Star fruit can be kept at room temperature if it is under ripe for about two weeks. The storage location doesn’t significantly matter but leaving it at room temperature will allow it to full ripen naturally.

If you’ve purchased your star fruit at the local supermarket, it’s likely that it’s under ripe since star fruit are picked under ripe like bananas and avocados.

star fruit being sliced and stacked

How To Eat Star Fruit Raw

To eat a star fruit raw, just wash it, rinse it, and slice it as desired. Remove any seeds.

Star fruit is great on any fruit salad, lettuce salad, or cold drink. It adds a beautiful dimension of shape and color.

How Should I Prepare Star Fruit For Cooking?

To prepare star fruit for cooking, wash the star fruit and slice it according to your recipe instructions. 

What Are Some Ways To Cook With Star Fruit?

Star fruit can be used in cooking in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas:

cold drink garnish
fruit salads topping
lettuce salad topping
top off desserts and cakes
jams and jellies
chicken dishes
…and more

Star Fruit Texture

A perfectly ripe star fruit is firm to the touch and little bit crisp. We tend to like the crunch when biting into a piece of raw star fruit.  

Does Star Fruit Taste Good?

Whether star fruit tastes good is a matter of personal preference. Like most foods, some people like it, and others don’t care for it. And that’s okay. But if you’re unsure of whether you’ll like it or not, you should give it a shot and taste it before making your final verdict.

Do You Eat the Skin of Star Fruit?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to eat the skin of a star fruit. We recommend washing it first with mild soap and rinsing it thoroughly. The skin is a paper like thin skin that is barely noticeable.

star fruit in hand

Can You Eat Unripe Star Fruit?

We recommend waiting until your star fruit is ripe to eat it. Eating an unripe star fruit can be excessively sour and even bitter. If you buy a green star fruit, wait until it’s yellow and let it ripen.

Star Fruit Serving Tips

To prepare a star fruit to serve it, wash it under water, cut off the ends, slice it, remove the seeds, serve it and enjoy.

Star Fruit’s Varieties

There are two main varieties of star fruit. One is sweet and the other is mainly sour. The sweet variety is recommended for eating as fresh fruit white the tart variety is recommended for use in cooked dishes or desserts.

What Does Star Fruit Smell Like

The smell of star fruit might remind you of fruits with a sour smell such as lemons or limes because of its acidic aspects.

What Does Unripe Star Fruit Taste Like

An unripe star fruit tastes sour and sometimes even bitter. When the fruit is unripe, it doesn’t have the warm depth of flavor that the ripe star fruit has.

What Food Pairs Perfectly with Star Fruit

Star fruit is beautifully visually and adds a nice flavor to many food items. Our four most favorite things to pair with star fruit include:

homemade fruit smoothies with star fruit
juices with star fruit
fruit salad with star fruit
lettuce salad with star fruit

star fruit being held

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are questions that are asked frequently as they relate to eating star fruit and their selection.

What fruit is similar to star fruit?

It’s hard to pinpoint one fruit that is similar to star fruit. There are in fact no other fruits that are even similar in appearance, let alone flavor. We are of the opinion that star fruit is a unique fruit in and of itself.

Is star fruit bad for your health?

It can be if you are someone who has kidney difficulties. But if you’re generally in good health, consuming star fruit in moderation should be just fine.

What does ripe star fruit look like?

When a star fruit is fully ripe, it is bright yellow in color and can have a bit of brown on the edges. The presence of green color means that the fruit is not yet ripe.

Is it ok to eat an unripe star fruit?

Yes, eating an unripe star fruit will be okay. It just might not taste good and is usually sour and quite bitter.

What are the Best Ways to use Star Fruits?

There are three main was to use star fruits:

1. Eat fresh star fruits. We like them in fruit salads, fresh lettuce salads, and as cold drink garnishes.

2. Use star fruits in savory dishes. Star fruits can be cooked in savory dishes such as chicken or fish. They add a delicious flavor dimension as well as to the visual appearance.

3. Use star fruits in desserts or drinks. Star fruits can be baked into cakes, muffins and breads as well as used in cold drinks and smoothies.

Where is Star Fruit Grown?

Star fruit is grown in tropical locations such as India, the Philippines and southern China. Starfruit is more recently grown in North and South America.

How Do You Procure It?

Star fruit can be obtained in supermarkets and fresh markets. Trees can also be grown from a seed in climates that sustain it.

Can Star Fruit Kill You?

In some cases, eating too much star fruit can make one very sick, cause kidney damage, seizures, or even lead to death. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe for you to consume star fruit, consult your physician first.

Does Star Fruit Taste Like Apples?

Some people believe that unripe star fruit tastes like green apples. I suppose that is a matter of opinion. Have you ever had a star fruit that tastes like apples?

Why is Star Fruit Bad for You?

Star fruit eaten in moderation is not bad for generally healthy people.

How Do You Know When Star Fruit is Ripe?

When star fruit is ripe, it is bright yellow in appearance and sometimes has brown edges. It is no longer green in color and the green stripes have disappeared.

Is Star Fruit Good for Your Skin?

Star fruit is known for its antioxidant properties as well as vitamin B and C, which assists skin in healing and leads to glowing skin.  

Is Star Fruit Juice Good for Hair?

Star fruit is good for hair because of its containing vitamins B and C, which can lead to shin hair and the healing of hair cells.

Is Star Fruit Good for Babies?

It is always recommended to check with your physician about your baby’s diet. If you think your baby could benefit from the vitamins, fiber, and gut health provided in plant-based foods, we recommend consulting your physician first.

The Bottom Line

Consuming star fruit can have many health benefits for generally healthy people. It is rich in vitamins as well as antioxidant properties.

The taste of star fruit can vary based on its degree of ripeness and its variety. It can range from sweet to sour and has somewhat of a hint of citrus. Its texture is firm, with a little bit of crispness.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you find many ways to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of star fruit as you incorporate it into your fresh dishes.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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