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Many of us have at least smiled when seeing this fruit on a plate or in a cocktail, without even knowing the name and let alone the properties. It is a rather rare exotic fruit but that we can use in our recipes to make it more beautiful and even more particular. His name is Averrhoa Carambola.
Its shape is not the only feature that deserves a place in our kitchen but it is certainly the easiest to remember and most immediate. This tasty fruit, originally from Asia, however, today it is more or less widespread in our area, usually in haute cuisine menus, as a touch of chic. It is one of the most loved and sought after exotic fruits by those who want a refined cuisine that is attentive not only to flavors but also to the presentation of the dishes. L'Averrhoa Carambola appears above all, for now, in sweet recipes.
Averrhoa Carambola: characteristics
The family to which the plant that gives us this fruit belongs has a rather difficult name to remember, it is the family of Oxalidaceae. The country of origin is Sri Lanka but we also find it cultivated in other areas of Asia, for example in the Moluccas.
At the level of adaptation, this plant does not create particular problems. It is a tree with a shrubby appearance, rich in resistant branches, which can grow in the presence of different climatic regimes and in areas that have very different temperatures. Up to 1200 meters of altitude it is possible to meet a plant of Carambola, but we also find them at low altitudes.
The leaves do not have a particularly noteworthy appearance, they are elongated, oval in shape and deep green in color. The fruits are certainly the part that attracts everyone's attention due to the oval and elongated shape but with the star-shaped section. They can be small, about 5 centimeters in length, but also more than 10. They have ridges that form the perimeter of a star when cut in a certain way. This is why the starfruit is also called "fruit of the stars ". The term "carambola" is of Latin origin and exists only in the languages related to them: Italian, French, Portuguese. In fact, in England we only speak of "starfruit"And in Germany of" sternfrucht "
Beyond the star section, let's see how the fruit looks, if for example we find it in a market, which is not probable but possible. We have an oval with sharp and longitudinal protrusions, with a thin and shiny skin that can be yellow or green, it all depends on the stage of maturation. If we buy a fruit and open it, we can find a nice crunchy pulp, white or yellow in color. The taste tends to acid but remains pleasant, it is certainly not too sweet. Inside the pulp very small seeds are hidden and protected.
Averrhoa Carambola: how to grow it
We said the plant is rather adaptable but in fact an Asian and exotic plant remains the same, so we must understand if there are the conditions to obtain good results and how to best set it.
There carom it grows well in areas where there is a warm climate, in positions where it can receive the sun's rays directly and for many hours. It adapts to other conditions but it does not necessarily bear fruit and make it as tasty as we expect it to be. It is very sensitive to changes in temperature and frost.
As for the type of soil where to cultivate it, we focus on a silty and quite humid composition and in any case we try in general to keep the bottom very well irrigated and soft. During the recommended periods, I can also help one fertilization, with organic fertilizers, and regular and frequent watering, never to be suspended, not even when winter arrives and temperatures drop significantly. It is clear that we must dose the water well and in the summer abundant concentrating the watering especially in the morning or after sunset, so that the heat does not evaporate the liquid.
Averrhoa Carambola in vase
It is not at all trivial to be able to grow a plant of Averrhoa Carambola in pots but if you live in an area with a favorable climate you can try. It is a nice green thumb challenge, not impossible to win. It is clear that we must not be fooled about the size: in pots it will most likely not be possible to obtain a very tall shrub and also the number of fruits that will sprout on its branches will be limited. A nice presence will remain the same and it will give us some satisfaction.
Among the most important operations are those concerning the preparation of the container: it must be lined with a bed of gravel and shards, or expanded clay balls, to facilitate the flow of water and prevent the ground from being too wet.
The maintenance of the plant is also required, which includes fertilization, pruning and removal of weeds and other weeds, as well as insect and pest control.