While visiting Vitória north of Rio de Janeiro, the thing that I look forward to the most (after the company, of course) is suco de carambola or starfruit juice. Starfruit were simply not that common during my childhood in Northern Virginia. Sure they were around occasionally, but were really expensive, often a few dollars each. I remembed being fascinated by the cut slices. They look like stars, as everyone knows. Somehow that suggested a divine plan to the Universe to my naive mind. It would take a higher power of some kind to invent a fruit that reveals stars to the initiated. Wow.
To make them into juice never seemed like a possibility until my first visit to Luis and Sávio´s home. Ten years ago, Luis presented a pitcher of starfruit juice as if it were nothing at all. It seems that they have relatives with carambola trees and they can´t get rid of the fruit fast enough. Can you imagine!?! I was completly bowled over by it.
Superficially the juice looks like orange juice. But it doesn´t have any tart citrusy flavors at all. Instead it is mildly sweet with a creamy texture and a hard-to-identfy flavor perhaps most akin to pears? Though it´s much better than that! The fruit itself sends of this exotic aroma that is truly heavenly.
This visit, Luis had about a hundred of the fruit waiting for my arrival! What a thoughtful friend and host. I had four glasses over breakfast that first morning.
Suco de Carambola
1 to 2 dozen starfruit, rinsed
some water to adjust thickness of juice
Slice fruit. Blend the starfruit with a bit of water to get the thickness that you like. Serve in a pitcher with ice.
I´ve also had this with a bit of vodka added, which makes a wonderful cocktail. Until I grow my own carambola tree, I´ll likely not make this one at home. A pitcher of the stuff could easily set me back $75 or more. I´d rather come to Brazil and spend the money at home on French wine 😉