Friday, May 6, 2011

Exotic Fruit Day: Star Fruit

Back when I worked in a cubicle, my friend Frank and I would try to make work life more interesting however we could. We came up with "Exotic Fruit Day," and once every couple of weeks, one of us would seek out a type of fruit we'd never tasted before and bring it in for us both to eat. We shared with our other cubicle buddies as well. So I got to taste things like kumquats, pummelo, ugli fruit, and a few others that I can't remember. There were some delightful flavors, as well as some that were surprisingly UN-tasty. I always look back fondly on those attempts to broaden my palette, and we've decided that as part of our homeschooling efforts, we will introduce new/foreign/exotic foods for us all to try as we go along. Most likely in a limited fashion, especially at first, being that our kids are still very young and, as previously mentioned, some foods can get a bit pricey.

Recently we came upon an Asian market, and as we had some time before we had to pick the boys up from school, we decided to go in and peruse. I saw that they had dragon fruit - something I had seen and read about, but not tried. I was sorely tempted to get one, but the cheapest one there was $6.99. For ONE piece of fruit. And as we have not yet officially begun our exotic food journey here, I decided that paying that much on a whim was probably not the best idea. There were also other fruits like mangosteen and lychee. In fact the Asian market was chock full of interesting and totally strange-looking items that I am dying to try. So we will be going back there for sure.

Then, as I was grocery shopping the other day, I saw star fruit. This is something else I have never tried, but at $1.37, I figured it would be fun for the boys and worth a shot. It's been several days since I bought it, and I decided today was the day I would slice it up for the taste test. Here's what it looked like as a whole piece of fruit:

I had no idea what to do with it, so I just went online and looked up "How to eat a star fruit," and got instructions (with photos!). I realized after reading a bit that the particular piece of fruit in my possession might be a tad overripe. But I was still hopeful. I noticed as I was slicing it that it smelled really good. Kind of like a grape and banana together. And here it is sliced:
Chris and I tried it first, and we both decided that it MUST be overripe, because it had just the teensiest hint of tasting "off." But if I had cut it up a few days ago, I'm certain it would have been great. The texture definitely reminded me of a grape, and it was juicy. I gave some to the kids, and they all liked it immediately. I could not get a good picture, but here they are enjoying a slice (Josh had finished his and went back to his video game).
Overall review? I would definitely try it again, and maybe even make it a semi-regular offering at our house. It is a fun shape, which is always great for kids, and is very appealing. Good taste and smell, and not a terrible price for a once-in-a-while treat. I'm glad I bought it. Exotic fruit day is back!

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