If you’ve ever tasted star apples—which are also known as caimitos, star plums, and milk fruits—you’ll know that they’re real tropical delights. Although they look like plums, their flavor and texture are remarkably different. Read on to learn about 6 other fruits like star apple that you can try out!
You might not have imagined this comparison but it’s true! In fact, when most people are asked what star apples taste like to them, the vast majority of people mention blueberries. Apparently this isn’t just because of caimitos’ flavor, but also the grainy, jelly-like texture within these little gems.
Blueberries are very easily available almost everywhere, compared to star apples. If the recipe you’re working with calls for caimito flesh, just swap in pureed blueberries instead. The same goes for smoothies, sauces, and desserts.
Caimito fruits aren’t just known as “star apples” because of the shape inside them. In addition to their round shape, star apples have a similar texture to certain apple varieties. Rather than being crisp like Granny Smith flesh, however, caimito flesh is more grainy. It’s more comparable to Red and Golden Delicious apples.
If you’re trying to emulate the flavor and texture of caimito, then try blending apples with blueberries. This would work really well for any dessert, though perhaps not as well in smoothie form. If you’re going to use apples in drinks, juice them instead of pureeing them or you’ll end up chewing that drink instead of sipping it.
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You might have noticed that certain pears are quite grainy as well. While Bartlett pears are crisp and juicy, Bosc pears are soft and grainy when fully ripe.
These are the types of pears that caimito fruits resemble most. They even have a noticeable pear-like flavor, combined with the other flavor notes mentioned here.
Sugar Apples (Atis Fruits)
Atis fruits are also known as sugar apples and sweetsops. Although they’re totally different species from caimito fruits, their flavors and textures are so similar they can almost be used interchangeably. Both atis and sugar apples are creamy and “milky”, with a delicious custard-like texture.
Look for these wonderful gems at Southeast Asian supermarkets, and take a spoon with you when you go shopping. If you find some at their ideal ripeness, just crack them open and try them immediately.
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Star apples’ flavor is surprisingly intricate. In addition to the apple and pear notes mentioned above, there’s a noticeable lychee-like aftertaste as well. The texture is completely different, of course. Whereas star apples are creamy and grainy, lychees are gummy and almost rubbery.
If you’re aiming to re-create star apples’ flavor for a drink or dessert, try using canned lychee fruits rather than raw. In fact, you can even simply use the syrup they’ve been canned in to add the flavor note you’re looking for.
Most people in North America will only be able to get their hands on persimmons between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. These beauties reach maximum ripeness in mid Autumn, and are at their sweetest after a frost.
While they’re neither creamy like sweetsops nor grainy like pears, persimmons share star apples’ slightly tart, citrus-like aftertaste. You can use these fruits on savory platters with vegan cheeses and spiced nuts to good effect.
As you can see, there are several different fruits like star apples that you can use interchangeably. Most of the ones on this list can easily be found at a supermarket near you.
Look for actual caimito fruits at Southeast Asian, Caribbean, and Central American fruit markets. Then compare them to the flavors and textures you’ve enjoyed from the others mentioned above! Then you can determine which taste the most similar to you, and can then incorporate them accordingly.