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Definition: carambola from The Macquarie Dictionary

the edible fruit of the carambola tree, Averrhoa carambola, native to south-eastern Asia, which is yellow brown in colour with a deeply ridged skin; five-cornered fruit; star fruit.

(plural carambolas)

Etymology:

Portuguese, from Marathi karambal


Summary Article: Star Fruit from The Illustrated Cook's Book of Ingredients

Also called carambola, the pretty star fruit is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions. The cylindrical, yellow-green fruit has thick, waxy skin with five sharp ribs that look like raised fins. The crisp, juicy flesh is citruslike, differing in sweetness according to variety and how ripe the fruit is.

Buy

Select shiny, even colored, firm fruit without blemishes. Star fruit is green when unripe, turning to pale yellow and then rich gold as it ripens. When ripe the aroma should be fruity. Once soft, it will quickly lose flavor. Buy unripe green fruit, which will be more acidic, for cooking as a vegetable.

Store

Keep at room temperature until the fragrance develops. Ripe fruit can be kept in a closed paper bag in the refrigerator for a few days. Or freeze.

Eat

Trim off any traces of brown along the top of the ridges since this will taste bitter.

Fresh:

Include in fruit salads. Use as a garnish. Extract the juice for drinks.

Cooked:

Poach or purée for cakes and desserts. Use the syrup for sauces. In Asia, unripe fruit is used as a vegetable.

Preserved:

Make into jam, chutney, and pickle. Slice and preserve in sugar as candied fruit.

Flavor pairings

Poultry, shrimp, avocado, red peppers, other tropical fruits, lime, coconut, lemongrass, nutmeg, vanilla, honey, rum, salt.

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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