The Carambola or star fruit is a 12 m high tree with short stem and spread branches, which can lose its leaves in dry times. The fruits are ripe greenish to dark yellow in color. The fruit, which is up to 9 x 15 cm in circumference, has five or six sharp, angular ribs; a cross section of the carambola looks like a star. The skin is smooth and waxy. The flesh is firm and juicy and pale yellow to dark yellow in color. The fruits are seedless or contain 12 mm large seeds. The carambola tastes acidic to sweet acid. The carambola occurs naturally in Southeast Asia and is cultivated worldwide in the (sub) tropics.
The fruit is eaten with the thin skin. In the Netherlands, the fruits can be found in the supermarkets, especially around Christmas, but the fruit can be found on the market throughout the year.
The carambola is not only used as a hand fruit, but is also used as a garnish by the shape of the cross-sections. The eating of the fruit can have a fatal effect on kidney patients due to a high concentration of oxalic acid and potassium. Carambola’s come from Malaysia, tropical Africa and Brazil. The small green carambola from Brazil turns light green when it is ripe and is slightly more acidic in taste
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