Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Carambola's past

Starfruit's more 'historical' name, carambola has a rich history highlighted in this article on the Fruits and Health blog.

Carambola was originally a Portuguese name, and goes back to the Sanskrit "karmara", which means 'food appetizer'.

To the English living in southern Asia, the carambola was known as the Coromandel gooseberry. The settlers in southern China dubbed it the Chinese gooseberry and learned that the Chinese name for it was "yang t'ao", meaning 'goat peach'.

Carambolas originated in the Malay Archipelago between South-East Asia and Australia. They are now grown in Africa, Brazil, the West Indies, and the US. They are a good source of Vitamin C, along with some potassium, niacin, and phosphorus.

The Chinese and the Indians cook the unripe fruit as a vegetable and eat the ripened fruit as dessert.