The Carambola (Averrhoa carambola) is named for the unique shape of the fruit when it is cut in cross-section. This fruit is a delight to eat adding crunch and texture to salads, salsas and sauces as well as an unusual garnish for beverages, fruit salads, cakes and pies. Even the juice is a refreshing alternative to citrus juice.
There are several varieties (cultivars) that do well in South Texas. Arkin, a medium to large orange skinned fruit, the most populat commercial cultivar in Florida. Sri Kembangan, a selection from Thailand that is compact with thick ribs and orange-yellow. Kari, a Hawaiian selection very similar to the Sri Kembagan but with fewer seeds. Fwang Tung, a Thai variety the has whitish-green skin with large, thin wings.