23 July 2012
In just a little over three years from when we more or less started, a starfruit (Averrhoa carambola, balimbíng) seedling we planted has matured and bore fruit! It does not even grow in ideal conditions; initially I was afraid we planted it too close to the kitchen and that passersby regularly brush off its branches and leaves. But it is a resilient plant and after some anticipation of periodic flowering, they did become fruits!
It's a relatively small tree with minute fuschia & white blooms that become these giant shiny, green, five-sided fruits, looking like bigger versions of their smaller cousins, the kamiás. If you slice them up on its cross-section, they will look amusingly like stars. It's not a very popular fruit here in the Philippines, unlike in the rest of Southeast Asia where I always find it in dessert buffets in Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur. I even see it as a drink, mixed with lime and lychee syrup and once, with ginger and honey.
It is nice and crunchy (ours, at least), refreshingly light and seems to cleanse the palate. It is rich in Vitamins A, C and iron.