Sunday, May 20, 2012

The star curse

I remember being a kid and thinking "there's one thing I'll NEVER eat!" whenever I saw a starfruit. I don't know, they just looked so weird... and the skin looked like some sort of larvae... so a fruit that looks like a star-shaped larvae should not be trusted!

Until one day I tried carambola juice. Just one of those powder, artificially flavored juices, you know? It was so sweet and citric and aromatic... but I still wasn't convinced. It wasn't until I was around 27 years old that I tried my first bite of carambola, more commonly known as starfruit


It was love at first bite.
Ever since, whenever I get the chance I like to buy some and eat - I always eat by myself since my husband seems to have the same kind of prejudice I used to.
The past couple of months I had been consuming a bit more of it and as a connected citizen of the year 2012, I always took pictures of it. Then a friend from facebook sent me a message:

"Dear Elize,
I hate to kill the mood, but I should warn you - eating too much starfruit can be bad for your health. Apparently, the fruit has a toxin that is bad for your kidneys (my dad is a doctor and he corroborated  this fact). I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, I too love it and feel bad for not being able to eat it very often!"

Heartbroken! Obviously, the first thing I did was google it, and sure enough... here's what I found on wikipedia:

Carambola contains oxalic acid, which can be harmful to individuals suffering from kidney failure, kidney stones, or those under kidney dialysis treatment. Consumption by those with kidney failure can produce hiccups, vomiting, nausea, and mental confusion. Fatal outcomes have been documented in some patients.

So it pains me to say, but if you - just like me - are a starfruit lover and have a certain propensity to kidney problems... stay away from carambola. I don't intend to totally cut it off, but cut back for sure. One way I really enjoy eating my carambola is by cutting three to five slices of it and serving with flan - it's tasty and cuts off the excessive sweet of the flan, and goes really well with the caramel topping. Besides, it's a very cute ornament to the dish. Hope you try it and like it!

flan and starfruit :)


  1. Wow... So exactly how much starfruits did you eat at a given time? My guess is you have to munch on a whole galaxy before having to start worrying about kidney failure. But I'm no expert.

    1. haha u're awesome bro. i guess a galaxy might be a little too much indeed, but i'm afraid a constellation a week could get me kidney stones, so i'll try to cut back! lol