Carambolas, or Star Fruit
Exotic fruits are generally higher in vitamin C, higher in potassium, and lower in calories than domestic fruits, and carambolas, or star fruits, are no exception. High in inflammation-lowering polyphenols, they're also great for your heart and full of fiber. Most of the star fruits you'll see in stores now come from Hawaii or South Florida. Look for firm, shiny, evenly colored yellow fruit. Handle with care, as star fruit bruises easily, and let the fruits ripen at room temperature for a few days until light brown ribs form and a full, fruity aroma develops, then refrigerate them for up to a week. Aim for deep yellow skin with browning on the edges," says Scott Varanko, produce manager at Stew Leonard's Farm Fresh Grocer in Norwalk, CT. "This is when they are sweetest. Some people will use the (underripe) green ones, since they are tart, as a substitute for limes in drinks." The carambola's taste has been described as a cross between citrus, apple, and pear, and you can just eat them as is or slice them into fruit salads. Sliced thin and dried in an oven on low heat, they also make great edible Christmas tree ornaments.
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