#Starapple, HashtagStarapple & Lessons in Processing Agbalumo

There are many reasons I love technology and social media – hashtags are one of them.

Hashtags are the strongest indication that we are similar in all the ways we are different. A few months ago, I hashtagged a photo on instagram, #starapple and then I clicked on it and discovered a whole world out there – of different star apples – white, green, purple. 

A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content.

Users create and use hashtags by placing the hash character # (also known as the number sign or pound sign) in front of a word or unspaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end.

Searching for that hashtag will yield each message that has been tagged with it. A hashtag archive is consequently collected into a single stream under the same hashtag.[1]; Source – Wikipedia

And then I noticed something else. Most of the photos had the star apples cut up with knives. A lot of others had teaspoons next to the star apples, apparently used to ‘eat’ the fruit quite different from our way of sucking and eating the fruit out of hand to mouth. 

I spoke with a friend, R about this discovery and how much faster – I wasn’t sure exactly – it would be to process the fruit, my agbalumo, star apple because if we ever have a chance to take it to shelves and aisles, then we must find effective and efficient processing methods. 

I decided to do a test – to time myself peeling agbalumo in the traditional method where I peel down the skin – much like you’d do with tangerines and tangelos – and then separate flesh and seeds.

Doing it the traditional way took me 25 seconds per agbalumo.

[Learning, processing agbalumo]


Trying the method discovered via the #starapple, 13.


The summary? Through hashtags, I’ve learnt I can process twice as many agbalumo as I used to in the past. Meaning – more fodder for my experiments and work, more recipes, more enjoyment :).

Here’s what to do:

First, wash your hands and your agbalumo. 

Then with a sharp knife, cut the washed agbalumo, star apple in half from the stalk to the tip at the base.


With a teaspoon, scoop the flesh and seeds out of each half.




And voila, you have your star apples and neat little cups if you decided to make some sorbets and serve in the flesh…like I’ll be doing soon.


So yes, go ahead, try it and let me know what you think. And if you didn’t see the big deal about hashtags before…well, I hope you do now – local tags, global connects and learning! Namaste.


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