Five Fingers a.k.a Carambola a.k.a Star Fruit

Carambola, Star Fruit, Five Fingers

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!

Carambola, Star Fruit, Five Fingers

From Wikipedia:

… 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.

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com Veron

    When I lived in the Philippines, I do remember we have star fruit over there. I’ve never tasted it though.

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com Veron

    When I lived in the Philippines, I do remember we have star fruit over there. I’ve never tasted it though.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Veron – Like some have mentioned it’s very tart… a very odd fruit :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Veron – Like some have mentioned it’s very tart… a very odd fruit :)

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    :-p

    (silly duplicate comment detector)

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    :-p

    (silly duplicate comment detector)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    hehehe … yuh trying to pull a chennette or what? spam detector in all yuh runktaung :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    hehehe … yuh trying to pull a chennette or what? spam detector in all yuh runktaung :D

  • Marsha

    Umm Nikki How this post get so much comments gyul?!

  • Marsha

    Umm Nikki How this post get so much comments gyul?!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    marsha – never doubt the power of the carambola :P

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    marsha – never doubt the power of the carambola :P

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    way!!! 31 now 32!!

    !!!

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    way!!! 31 now 32!!

    !!!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    lilandra – yuh licking Chennette in # of comments :P

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    lilandra – yuh licking Chennette in # of comments :P

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    I wasn’t counting that but if you say so! :-p

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    I wasn’t counting that but if you say so! :-p

  • Roxy

    I get the star fruit/carambola here in the U.S.A.
    If it looks as though it is not ripe, I leave it in the open, for approx hmmmm 4 or more days (depending on how tart I suspect it might be) or
    if I want it ripened in a shorter time, I put in in a brown bag, close the top of the bag, and leave it to ripe. They are always sweet after I do this. So I never get the itchy lips that I used to get when I was a kid. Also, I love to cook and this fruit is great for jams, jellies, drinks and juices, pickles, salads,cakes, pie filling and much more

  • Roxy

    I get the star fruit/carambola here in the U.S.A.
    If it looks as though it is not ripe, I leave it in the open, for approx hmmmm 4 or more days (depending on how tart I suspect it might be) or
    if I want it ripened in a shorter time, I put in in a brown bag, close the top of the bag, and leave it to ripe. They are always sweet after I do this. So I never get the itchy lips that I used to get when I was a kid. Also, I love to cook and this fruit is great for jams, jellies, drinks and juices, pickles, salads,cakes, pie filling and much more

  • http://www.poetrynest.blogspot.com Paterika Hengreaves

    I have a five finger tree in my back garden. Actually, it is my neighbour’s tree but its branches cover my back garden. I learned all about it from my neighbour. I did not know its name until she told me that the fruits are known as five fingers and they make a delicious drink. Yes indeed, the drink make from five fingers is really delicious. I’m thinking of writing a poem about five fingers.

    Paterika
    www.poetrynest.blogspot.com

  • http://www.poetrynest.blogspot.com Paterika Hengreaves

    I have a five finger tree in my back garden. Actually, it is my neighbour’s tree but its branches cover my back garden. I learned all about it from my neighbour. I did not know its name until she told me that the fruits are known as five fingers and they make a delicious drink. Yes indeed, the drink make from five fingers is really delicious. I’m thinking of writing a poem about five fingers.

    Paterika
    www.poetrynest.blogspot.com

  • http://trinidadandtobagolife.wordpress.com/ JijiN3k0

    I like Star Fruit! I think they look nice too… trinidadandtobagolife.wordpress.com/ I put a pic here.

    JijiN3k0’s last blog post..Unusual Fruits of Trinidad

  • http://trinidadandtobagolife.wordpress.com/ JijiN3k0

    I like Star Fruit! I think they look nice too… trinidadandtobagolife.wordpress.com/ I put a pic here.

    JijiN3k0’s last blog post..Unusual Fruits of Trinidad

  • Sam

    Five finger aka Carambola & also aka star fruit is good for high blood pressure! you can make fruit juice with it by grating or use a blender and also it can be dryed and make fruits for cakes like u wud use raisins, this can be mixed with other dried fruits preserved fruits!

  • Sam

    Five finger aka Carambola & also aka star fruit is good for high blood pressure! you can make fruit juice with it by grating or use a blender and also it can be dryed and make fruits for cakes like u wud use raisins, this can be mixed with other dried fruits preserved fruits!

  • http://lancebobb@bellsouth.net julie

    I was very happy to know that there are several carambola lovers out there. I have several trees and they are all sweet, very sweet. The taste like golden delicious apple. I make my own bar-b que sauce, sweet and sour sauce,dried carambola as snack,ground carambola preserved with wine for Jamaican rum cake, Guyana black cake,muffins, buns,fruit cake etc. All these products are made from carambola. Believe or not,it is true. Julie,GOD bless every reader. much love.

    • Nancy

      Julie,
      I'd love to get your recipes… My in-laws have a huge tree here in Hawaii & there's always an excess. We've made juice and preserved it with li-hing mui, but would love your recipes. I haven't tried the bread yet, but am looking forward to trying it out
      .

  • lyrrad

    hey,

    I heard someone mention something about toxins in the star fruit. Can somebody clarify this?

    Regards,

    D

  • lyrrad

    hey,

    I heard someone mention something about toxins in the star fruit. Can somebody clarify this?

    Regards,

    D

  • lyrrad

    chow is not bad at all made some yesterday.

    its all in the seasoning!!

    D

  • lyrrad

    chow is not bad at all made some yesterday.

    its all in the seasoning!!

    D

  • Nancy

    Julie,
    I'd love to get your recipes… My in-laws have a huge tree here in Hawaii & there's always an excess. We've made juice and preserved it with li-hing mui, but would love your recipes. I haven't tried the bread yet, but am looking forward to trying it out
    .

  • Ketra

    Hi, i just want to know have any one ever did juice with the five finger

  • Ketra

    Hi, i just want to know have any one ever did juice with the five finger

  • Bluefete77

    Yes. I just did today. I used a juicer and added sugar. Absolutely refreshing.

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