02/27/2013 09:05 am ET Updated Feb 27, 2013

Star Fruit (Or Carambola): The Tropical Treat We Are Obsessed With

Flickr: DeusXFlorida

My parents confessed rather frequently that while they were thrilled to have a kid who would eat just about anything, it came with its unique challenges. They kicked themselves regularly in my youth for letting me try lobster at a ridiculously young age. They were probably expecting me, four years old and full of wonder, to be little bit freaked out by the giant sea-bug in front of me. Boy were they wrong (pro-tip: you dip it in melted butter, so... yeah). Same with most every other seafood, vegetable, cheese and meat they put in front of me. I wanted to eat it all, all the time.

Fruit was no exception. I remember the day, pushing a shopping cart along with both of them, I picked up a starfruit and asked to take it home. I've been hooked ever since. Starfruit (or Carambola, if you want to be proper) is a tropical fruit gown mostly in Malaysia, The Philippines and India, and popular all over southeast Asia. The tart, juicy fruit is crispy, a bit floral and really unlike any other flavor on earth. Why is it called starfruit? Because when you cut into it, it looks like this:

star fruit

Usually relegated a flabby slice or two on top of a fruit salad, I have to confess that I don't have a starfruit recipe to share with you. Because it's from exotic, far away lands, it tends to be pretty expensive, even in prime season. Which means that when I get my hands on one, I never want to do anything but eat it quickly, gluttonously (as gluttonous as you can be with fruit) and frequently. Anyone out there have a starfruit recipe that tastes better than the pure unadulterated fruit?

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