Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

carambola Averrhoa carambola, a small tree or shrub thought to be native to Java or other parts of Indonesia, and perhaps also Sri Lanka. It is cultivated in SE Asia, India, and Sri Lanka; and to a lesser extent in other tropical countries. It bears an elongated yellow-green fruit up to 13 cm (5") long which has five prominent ridges running down it so that a cross-section is star shaped. Hence the alternative name starfruit.

The fruit has a waxy, orange-yellow skin, with a crisp, yellow, juicy flesh when ripe. There are two distinct sorts of carambola, one small and very sour, the other larger, with a bland but sweeter flavour.