Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a star shaped tropical fruit with sweet and sour flavor. Carambola is native to Malayan peninsula and cultivated in many parts of Southeast Asia, Pacific islands and China for its fruits. Although abundant and plentiful, carambola is yet to gain popularity, especially in the western world.
Scientific name: Averrhoa carambola. The genus averrhoa includes two well-known sorrel (Oxalidaceae) families of fruiting trees, carambola and bilimbi (tree cucumber).
The fruit is recognized as belimbing manis in many South East Asian regions and kamrakh in India.
preparation, uses and Serving tips
To prepare, wash them thoroughly in cold water, dry mop using absorbent cloth. Trim off the ends and dry edges of the ribbed angles. Cut the fruit crossway into thin sections, which resemble like a starfish. Pick out any seeds located near its center.
1. In different countries, this fruit is savored in different fashion. Star fruit is best eaten raw but can be consumed in form of Jams
. This fruit can be consumed whole along with the skin which is firm, juicy and crispy. This fruit is known for its restrained sugar content which is healthy and never goes beyond 4% even in a well ripe Carambola.
2. Star fruits are generally used as a garnish in salads
, drinks, as well as to impart tart flavor in dishes.
3. Given their high oxalic acid content and extreme tartness, they used quite less frequently in food the industry.
4. Only sweet variety carambola can be eaten fresh, or mixed with other fruits in salads. Fresh fruit can also be juiced and used in cocktails with other complementing tropical fruit juices.
5. Sour type fruits are favored in cooking as they impart unique tart flavor to poultry
, and seafood
6. Cut sections of fresh fruit added in stews, curries
, and stir-fries with chicken, and fish and shrimp
Fresh star fruits can be available twice in a season. In Florida, for example, Arkin cultivars are available from December to March. In general, fruits just short of ripening stage are picked up for shipment and storage; since the ripe fruits tend to bruise easily, especially their thin ribbed edges.
While buying, choose uniform, large, attractive looking, yellow-orange fruits. Avoid green, small size fruits since they tend to be extremely acidic, and unappetizing. Avoid those with cuts, bruise, shriveled or spots.
Ripe fruits tend to perish early; however, they stay well in cold storages when kept at appropriate temperatures. At home, unripe light green fruits may be kept at room temperature until they turn rich orange-yellow color. Ripe fruits may keep well for 2-3 days at room temperature, but required to be stored inside the refrigerator for extended shelf life.
Health Benefits of Star Fruit
1. Star fruit may lower cholesterol levels and add bulk and moisture to feces.
2. A decoction of leaves and roots (prepared separately or in combination) can help cure headaches, ringworm, and chickenpox.
3. The fruit is known to cure hangovers and prickly heat. You can also use the pickled fruit for hangover just take one piece of the pickled fruit, steam in water and serve.
4. The fruit has also been used to treat sore eyes.
5. The star fruit is given to nursing mothers as it is commonly believed to stimulate the flow of milk.Read More at Wikipedia also see Here.
Recipe using Star fruit see Here and Here.