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Carambola – Starfruit Averrhoa carambola L.

Photo Credit:Ian Maguir

The carambola,or starfruit,has been available in grocery stores for many years. When it first appeared in the stores,the only carambola you could find was a sour type that was mainly used for garnish,but now varieties have improved so that only sweet tasting starfruits are in the stores today.

Below are some tips to help you enjoy your carambolas at their best!

Selecting fruit

When at the store choose your starfruit by looking for little or no bruising or brown spots on the ribs. Starfruits are delicate and can be bruised during shipment. Starfruit that is ready for eating is gold in color,so if you are ready to enjoy the fruit right away,choose a starfruit with a gold color. If you can wait a few days,select a starfruit that is a light yellow,with a hint of green along the ribs.

Ripening

Fruit that is yellow or a very light green will ripen on the counter at room temperature. Don’t place it in the refrigerator as this will stop the ripening process. Once the fruit has turned to a golden or  yellow color,it is ready for eating.

Handling

Carambolas are delicious,and delicate. Handle them gently,as you would a tomato,and you will be rewarded with a light,refreshing fruit that is quite versatile. Once the carambola is ripe,cut the fruit crosswise to reveal their beautiful star patterns,and eat the entire fruit. The skin,the seeds and core are all edible,and tasty!

Counts and Weights

A 3” carambola weighs about 3-6 oz. and will yield about 10-12  ¼ “ slices.

Storage

Once your carambola is ripe you can store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container,and it will keep for almost a week. We don’t suggest freezing carambola as they have a watery consistency when they are thawed.

Recipes

Carambolas are a nutritious,low calorie fruit,and are a great addition to many dishes. Why not try them…?

  • In fruit,vegetable,or chicken salads
  • In stir frys
  • In desserts,such as starfruit upside down-cake or added to crème brulee,or dipped in chocolate
  • Blended and added to other juices
  • As a chutneys combined with other fruits,onions,raisins and spices
  • As a garnish

Carambola Recipies (click to download PDF)

Star-Studded Shrimp Salad

Carambola and Lettuce Salad

Salmon Fillets with Carambola Salsa

Carambola Chutney

Carambola Crab Salad

Coconut Crepes with Sauteed Carambola and Rum Bananas

Carambola Caprese