Carambola or Five Corners SE Asia and Sth Pacific
This delectable little treat is well known, particularly to northern Australians. It has been around a long time, having been introduced to Australia over one hundred years ago.
The fruit is oval with five prominent ribs and usually weighs between 100 and 300 grams. It has a thin waxy edible skin, and is translucent yellow/orange to a yellow/ green in colour, with a sometimes tart but crisp flesh. Five corners (also known as Star Fruit in Asia) range in flavour from enjoyably tart to slightly sweet with complex undertones of plums, pineapples and lemons. It could be described as thin and watery with a rather feeble attack, however there a quite a few different varieties of this fruit. The finish tends to be rather appley and sometimes a little dry.
The texture on the first bite is crisp but softer on the palette than an apple. This fruit, like many tropicals, is quite versatile in its uses. When sliced crossways, it produces an amazing star shape which makes a great decorative addition to any dish. It’s often used in salads, on a cheese platter, or on a skewer on the BBQ with prawns or chicken or fish. It juices well and makes a wonderfully refreshing tropical drink or iced tea. It is also good to add to chutneys and pickles and curries (green fruits are used for their sourness). Included in puddings and tarts, the Carambola can be used the same as any other fruit, often taking the place of berries and apples or a combination of these. Stewing with apples, sugar and cloves makes a great dessert. Be aware that the fruit is very watery so limit the liquid added.
At our Mission Beach Tropical Fruit Safari presentation every Monday and Tuesday at 1.00pm sharp at the Mission Beach Visitor Information Centre, you can learn about and taste fruits just like this beauty.
Tropical Fruit Safari Presenter