Common name: Starfruit, carambola
Botanical name: Averrhoa carambola
Family: Oxalidaceae (wood sorrel family)
Aspect & soil: Full sun; deep, well-drained soil
Best climate: Tropical to subtropical
Habit: Evergreen treePropagation: Seed, grafting
NAMED VARIETIES TEND TO BE RELIABLY SWEETER IN FLAVOUR AND PRODUCE GOOD-SIZED, JUICY FRUIT.
I’ve always been intrigued by culinary art, from ice sculptures to radishes and carrots that are cut like roses. It’s all far too complicated for me.
But there’s one fruit that looks as if you’re skilled in food artistry when all that’s necessary is to slice it up. The starfruit or carambola has done all the fancy work itself.
This fruit is elongated with prominent ridges so that when sliced horizontally it forms a five-pointed green-to-yellow star that looks great on a fruit platter.
As well as looking good, it also has a refreshing sweet/sour fruit-salad flavor (think banana, feijoa and a hint of pineapple) and a texture like a grape.
A fruit platter at a special function is where most people first encounter starfruit but this exotic is available at most fruit shops and supermarkets.
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