In Starbucks Peru, The Lúcuma Crème Frappuccino Is Made With Native Fruit

If you imagined America's beloved coffee giant offering all of its goodness on its home territory, you're in for a surprise. In reality, Starbucks spread its wings many years ago, swooshing down with international coffee shops in far-flung locales, including several in Latin America. Due to the availability of local ingredients, some Starbucks Frappuccino flavors are available only on foreign soil. That's why many in the Western world have yet to experience something as sweetly fruity as a Lúcuma Crème Frappuccino.

Withholding this Peruvian Frappuccino from the rest of the world is not for proprietary as much as it's due to the limited availability and shelf life of the drink's namesake ingredient: the ancient and rare lúcuma fruit. Also known regionally as lucmo and eggfruit, the lúcuma is a sweet subtropical beauty originating in Peru's Andean valleys. It carries an avocado-like shape with mango-colored inner flesh but it bears its own inherent flavor notes, primarily a subtly sweet caramel taste. 

Starbucks includes the Lúcuma Crème Frappuccino on its list of the top five Starbucks beverages to try in Latin America, and for good reason. It's unique, rare, and naturally sweet, and the tropical fruit is even nutritious. In Peru, Starbucks creates this Frappuccino without coffee, opting instead for a creamy sauce made with the luscious lúcuma fruit mixed with milk and topped with whipped cream. If your travel plans don't include Peru, no worries –– there's a potential way to make one at home.

Use lúcuma powder for frosty drinks

Starbucks gives no indication of offering the Lúcuma Crème Frappuccino outside its Peruvian stores, but you can try making one at home using lúcuma powder. It's not a common supermarket item, but you can find it with a little online sleuthing. It's highly valued in South America as a sugar substitute in baked goods, baby food, jams, and sauces –– but especially as a flavor in ice cream, milkshakes, and smoothies.

As a powder, it bears a textural similarity to brown sugar, which makes it easy to sprinkle into your own version of a Lúcuma Crème Frappuccino. The authentic Starbucks version uses a lúcuma sauce, so you could try incorporating lúcuma powder into your own version of a caramel sauce. Some purveyors of lúcuma powder in the United States label it as a "superfood" fruit powder, whether ingested through a smoothie or your homemade Frappuccino. This concept bears some credibility. 

According to Healthline, lúcuma is often referred to as the "gold of the Incas" due to its value as a traditional health remedy. In its powdered form, it holds as much as ¾ less sugar than ordinary table sugar, and it's high in fiber, antioxidants, and heart-healthy polyphenols. Add that to the vibrant lemon-hued color, sweet tropical taste, and rich caramel undertones, and you just might have a new favorite at-home Frappuccino blend.