(Chrysophyllum cainito – Family Sapotaceae)
cainito (blanco/morado)(Spanish), caimite (French), kainitto (Japanese)
The star apple is a tropical fruit cultivated long before the arrival of the Europeans to the West Indies and Central America. It has always been prized as an ornamental, as well as for its fruit.
The star apple is cultivated as far south as Peru and as far north as Florida, but attempts to grow it in Asia have had limited success.
The fruit is the size of a small apple and can be white (“blanco”)
or purple (“morado”) (as above).
The fruit contains a soft pulp with a central “star” of flat, brown seeds in a translucent jelly.
The flavour is sweet and is at its peak if left to ripen on the tree. Usually eaten fresh, the star apple can also be made into preserves.
In Jamaica, the pulp is mixed with bitter orange juice and made into a drink called “matrimony”.
The star apple is no relation to the star fruit
Several other Chrysophyllum species also have edible fruits:
C. africanun, the African star apple, is sometimes called Odara pear.
C. monopyrenum, the damson plum of Jamaica, is used mainly for its juices.