Tuesday, November 10


Hi, hello, I'm back, and I bring another act for What The? Theater. This one needs a little backstory. When I was 10, my Mom brought me and my brothers to the Philippines to meet her side of the family. We're out there in the Batangas, a rural area. And there under a tree were a bunch of starfruit, fallen on the ground. Little math geek Bayani is immediately drawn to a food that has its own strong sense of geometry. Naturally, I reach down for one, figuring I can wash it off.

"Don't eat that," Mom says.

"Why not?" I ask.

"That's not for people to eat. We feed that to the pigs." And I left it at that.

Years and years later, I'm cruising through the local grocery store, and what do I see?

That's right. Pig food at $2.99 a whack. But the real "What the?" moment came a few months ago when starfruit appeared in the basket on Chopped. (Food Network show. Look it up.) And there's Alex Guarnaschelli saying, "Starfruit has a light, delicate flavor that's really wonderful." In pig food? What the?

I grab a couple of them and decide to solve the mystery for myself.

It's citrusy alright. Take a look at the cross section. It's like... when was the last time you had artificial "tropical fruit" flavored drink? It's just like that. Yeah, I was pretty thrown too! Now there is this nasty little problem about those seeds up the middle. But we can solve that when you think citrus again -- supremes. A gentle little knifework will extract fingers of tropical sweetness for you to enjoy.

Of course, in What The? Theater, we can't leave it there. Well, here's something else we haven't tried at Watch Us Eat! yet: a drink. I've got the supremes of two starfruit in my shaker with some mint leaves and a shake of sugar. I'm not a bartender like Raoul is, but you know what? I bet he doesn't own a muddler either (Christmas gift!) I improvise with the butt end of the strainer and muddle away.

The rest of it is pretty standard mojito procedure.

Top it off with seltzer, club soda, or lemon lime soda. Nice and refreshing.

Give it a try. I can think of dumber things to do with $5.98.

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