Carambola fruits are mainly cultivated in Malaysia where they are grown in medium size plantations. Smaller lesser organized production does also take place in Brazil, Colombia, Israel and Thailand.
Star fruit is a very descriptive name for this fruit since a slice of the fruit has the shape of a small star.
Most of the carambola fruit export is green unripe fruits. Few exporters have started to specialize in ready to eat, yellow carambola. These mature fruits can, however, only be exported by air while the green unripe fruits are very suitable for sea shipment.
When the carambola fruit matures it changes colour from green to yellow. Once it reaches the yellow colour it is ready to eat. The fruit changes character from crisp and sour to delicate, juicy and most important with a flowery/jasmine like taste. The tips on the wings of the carambola should be cut away before eating since they have a very bitter taste. These tips may turn brown in colour due to dehydration in the fibre strings in the tips. This does not decrease the fruit quality.
The carambola can be used for many things, but most of all, due to the star shape of a fruit slice, for decorative purposes in desserts, salads or in drinks.
The greener fruits taste well in combination with fish and shellfish. The more mature fruit is more suitable for salads, marmalade, confit and jell.
Slices of the carambola can be frozen and then used as ice cubes in drinks. Whole fruits are not suitable for freezing.
At 7-10 degrees the fruit will remain fresh up to 8-10 days.
At room temperature the fruit will mature and should keep 4-5 days.