“Fresh2U” Nutrition Program for Kids and Parents
For many centuries carambola have been cultivated in southeast Asia and Malaysia. They also grow well in Caribbean countries, Hawaii, Central and South America and in south Florida, where they were introduced more than 100 years ago. Several varieties have since been developed especially for growing in the state.
Florida carambola are available from August through March.
The fruit has smooth flesh that is yellow to golden-yellow and is crisp and sweet and without fiber, which makes the fruit popular to be eaten fresh or for use in salads, desserts, sauces, and wine. Carambola are sometimes called star fruit, because when cut in cross-section, the slices are shaped like stars.
Carambola are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, phosphorous, and potassium.
To experience the best taste, allow the fruit to ripen at room temperature for two to five days until a yellow color develops on the inside of the ribs. When ripe, carambola are juicy and fragrant with a flavor that can vary from very sweet to sharply tangy, with the sweetest taste usually coming from the fruit with the broadest set ribs. Carambola can be eaten fresh or kept refrigerated in plastic bags for up to seven days.