A popular fruit of wealthy Europeans in the late 1700’s, Carambola or Star Fruit was introduced to America approximately 75 years ago. A native fruit of Southeast Asia and India, Star Fruit became an established fruit in Hawaii by way of Chinese immigrant traders. Arriving in Florida, Star Fruit has since made the state the largest producer of all American consumed Star Fruit.
The carambola ranges from 3 to 5 inches long and is easy to identify by the five definitive ribs that transverse its length. When ripe, the carambola is exceedingly juicy and fragrant. Its flavor, depending upon variety, can range from exotically sweet to refreshingly tart. In general, the broader set the ribs, the sweeter the fruit.
Carambolas are available from June to March
Carambolas, which do not require peeling, are delicious eaten out of hand, or used in salads, desserts or as a simple garnish.