Florida’s Star of a Fruit: Carambola
Carambola is probably a fruit that you’re not very familiar with and that’s because it is more commonly called star fruit! It makes sense that we call it star fruit because it is shaped like a star. In Florida, carambola is grown in South Florida and on the southeastern and southwestern coasts in several different counties including Miami-Dade, Lee, Broward, Palm Beach, Monroe, Collier Counties, Brevard, Pinellas, Highlands, and Polk Counties. The varieties of star fruit grown are separated into two categories, tart or sweet. Florida grows several different varieties including Maha, Wheeler, Arkin, Golden Star, and Hoku.
You can find fresh from Florida carambola in grocery stores from June through February. The peak season for star fruit is from August through September and December through February. When picking out carambola in the grocery store you should look for fruit that is firm and bright yellow with pops of light green and light brown ribs. If your star fruit isn’t completely ripe when you purchase it, no worries, just leave it on the counter for a few days and it will ripen up. Once your star fruit is ripe it is best to keep it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. Your star fruit will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Always make sure to wash your carambola under cold water to clean it before having it as a yummy snack!
This cool fruit is not only tasty but healthy for you too! Carambola is packed with nutrients, being a great source of vitamin C, folate, antioxidants, and fiber. Adding more fruit like carambola to your diet can help prevent strokes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Carambola can be eaten in many different ways. It is great eaten fresh, in salads, fruit salads, sorbets, drinks, and even stir-fried. This fruit pairs great with just about any other fruit too.
For your enjoyment, try out a carambola recipe courtesy of Food Network!
Did You Know?
- Carambola is 90% water.
- Star fruit is native to Southeast Asia.
- Carambola can be grown from a seed or by propagated fruit cuttings.
- There’s no waste with star fruit because the entire fruit is edible!
Content courtesy of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services, IFAS, and Fresh From Florida.
Information compiled by: Avianna Liuzzo