Star Fruit is native to the Moluccas islands of Indonesia. Several different breeds of star fruits were introduced into Taiwan from South Asia in the 1600s. Since then, the locals have continued to perfect the farming techniques and conduct cross breeds. The most commonly seen star fruits are Tainon #1, Tainon #2, and the more recently developed Dragon (Tainon #3).
The star fruit grows in areas with high temperature and damp environment. It can be harvested all year round, the best months for the Dragon are between November to the next March.
The Dragon Star Fruit averages 350g. The groves are thicker, has a better bite and higher brix than the average breeds. It earned its name "Dragon" from the red color it gains when it ripens.
Taste and Texture
Ripe Dragon Star Fruits are sweet without being overwhelming as they rarely have more than 4% sugar content. They have a tart, sour undertone, and an oxalic acid odor. The taste is difficult to compare, but it has been likened to a mix of apple, pear, grape, and citrus family fruits.
Choose star fruits with undamaged and shiny skin, thick groves, green to the edge, golden flesh, and weights heavier than it appears. If the skin is orange then it is over ripe. Although it is sweeter, but over ripe affects the crisp texture.
Health Benefits of Star Fruits
Good source of dietary fiber, high in vitamin C, rich in antioxidant phyto-nutrients polyphenolic flavonoids. Some of the important flavonoids are quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid. In addition, the fruit is a good source of B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, and pyridoxine
Star fruit is one of the very low calorie exotic fruits. 100 g fruit just provides 31 calories, which is much lower than for any other popular tropical fruits. Nonetheless, it has an impressive list of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins required for well-being.
Did you know...
Star fruit and its juice is often recommended in many folk medicine in Taiwan as a diuretic (to increase urine output), expectorant, and to suppress cough.