English Name: Star fruit / Carambola
Botanical Name: Averrhoa carambola
Indian Name: Kamrakh
DESCRIPTION: A green or yellow tropical fruit with a shape like a star when cut.
ORIGIN: Although it is now found in the wild, the star fruit is originally native to Sri Lanka and the Moluccas, and its a tropical fruit that is gaining popularity in the United States and in Malaysia for almost 1,000 years.
However, Carambola is a Portuguese word derived from a South Indian language Malabar recorded in 1974.
Today it is grown throughout the Caribbean, central and South American, Florida, Hawaii and even in Nigeria because the fruit thrives on growing in a warm environment. In Nigeria it is found in Mayflower school Ikenne, Ogun state along the zoo gardens in Student Second Home (SSH). It is also readily available in Taiwan.
This tropical fruit is readily available in July through February the genus name “Averrhoa” is after “Averrhoes” an Arabian physician. It is cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions for hundreds of years. In early written accounts and Sanskirt name “Kamar” indicates the presence of Carambola in India much before the arrival of Europeans to India. The Dutch traveler Linschoten first brought the news of the existence of this fruit to the Western world in 1598, describing it as a kind of sour apple with ribs.
The fruit was probably first introduced to Hawaii sometimes after 1789 and to Australia at the end of the 19th century it later spread across various tropical and subtropical regions.
NATURAL BENEFITS: Star fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, low in fat, and contains naturally sodium and cholesterol free. A small whole fruit will provide approximately 2/3cup sliced. It is used for medicinal purposes to cure illnesses like : headache, hangover, sore eyes, ringworm, prickly heat, and chicken pox. Given to nursing mother’s it is believed to stimulate the flow of milk.
Add to fruit salads, use for tarts, chutneys and stewed fruits. Used to garnish chicken pork or fish dishes. Use to garnish fruit beverages/juices can be added to fruit smoothies. etc.