Carambola is a fruit that was not very popular in my life until recent years, possibly a casualty of the flood of foreign fruit imports that became popular in the Nineties. Now however, with everyone tightening their belt, local produce is once again taking center stage in local supermarkets. As this is my first entry in Weekend Herb Blogging (hosted this time around by its founder Kalyn) I thought that was a great way to get feedback on this odd item 🙂
So what is this fruit all about? Well as you can see it looks a lot like a starfish in cross section (thus the fanciful names Starfruit and Five Fingers). It is very tart in taste (with a curious sweet aftertaste), crunchy, and filled with liquid. I’m still figuring out ways to utilize this fruit in my repertoire. I made an awesome bread with it yesterday. If you have any tips or suggestions do tell!
… the carambola, more popularly known as star fruit, but also coromandel gooseberry, is a golden-yellow to green berry. When cut across it shows a 5-pointed (sometimes 6-pointed or 7-pointed) star shape, hence the name, “star fruit.” Star fruits are crunchy, and have a slightly tart, acidic, sweet taste, reminiscent of pears, apples, and sometimes grapes. The fruits are a good source of vitamin C. Its seeds are small and brown. They consist of a tough outer skin and a tangy white inside.
There are two varieties of star fruit – acidulate and sweet. The tart varieties can often be identified by their narrowly spaced ribs. The sweet varieties usually have thick fleshy ribs.
The fruit starts out green, and goes to yellow as it ripens, though it can be eaten in both stages.
The fruit is rich in juice to the extent that one can make wine out of them.