I am in love with this fruit.
For as long as I can remember I've been a loyal devotee to bananas, but that was because I'd never tried the divine Star Apple fruit. I'm not kidding you, this fruit is straight from Heaven itself.
I tried it for my first time this past month, and have fallen deeper and deeper in love with each soft, milky, creamy, succulent bite! It tastes like you're dipping into a bowl of vanilla-custard-pudding, only naturally sweetened and straight from a tree.
The literal translation of Star Apple in Vietnamese is Vú sữa, meaning "breastmilk", and I can see why. I felt like a hungry infant under that tree, eagerly grasping for any fruit I could reach, sucking in the milky goodness as quickly as I could!
The fruit origins from the West Indies and Central America, so it goes by many names, such as caimito, star apple, golden leaf tree, abiaba, pomme du lait, estrella, milk fruit and aguay. But I like Vú sữa the best. My friend Laura and I thought the English word "Star Apple" didn't give it justice enough, for how divine it truly is. We decided we should call it our own name, "Estrella La Leche" or Milk Star.
Our family was introduced to the Hilo Arboretum last month and it's quickly become of one of our favorite family hang outs. The Arboretum was started in 1922 to help experiment with growing non-native plants, strange to Hawaiian soil. Over 1000 species of plants were introduced here, and now it is owned by the Hawaii Forestry Division. As a family, we can go there once a day to pick fruit for our family for free.
It is truly a blessing to live near the arboretum! In the past month we have gone several times to pick Lychee, Mango, Jack fruit, and "Estrella La Leche." We can go back anytime we want, to pick the fruits that are in season. There's also many trees covered in exotic flowers, like this orange blossom bursting like fireworks from the bark:
Running through the grass and exploring is what we love the most.
I thought I would miss our abundance of fruit trees in Puna, but this arboretum more than makes up for it!