However on this visit to Bangladesh, I observed on the tree a few ripe starfruits, plumped so that the stellar edges were more reminiscent of a starfish than the bearded dragon look I was familiar with. The colour was an unusual gold, quite different to other gold things that occur in nature. It would have been the colour of honey curdled with the sun, or of an apricot drenched in cinnamon syrup. Against the sky these ripe starfruits looked not like fruit but like funky, gravity-defying shapes of buttery resin.
Tangy, they still are, but much less so than the unripe version I had been familiar with, and not in any way does the taste-bud sensation of ‘tangy’ override the essence of the starfruit’s soul, which is fresh like powder-scented laundry drying in the breeze of a tropical morning. The taste is absolutely liberating and uplifting, and it tastes like what it looks like: pure, clear, radiant, sharp, and life-inspiring. To eat a ripened starfruit under a tropical sun – is to be fuelled with a cosmic energy that is often only seen or felt at night-time in the quietude of sleepy surroundings or the hazy strangeness of dreams. To see and eat starfruit is to be able to witness and experience daytime stars – in all their beautiful, glowing, majestic glory.