The star-shaped fruit named the Star Fruit (Averrhoa Carambola) has distinctive ridges running down its sides that give the appearance of a star. The entire fruit is edible and used in cooking. They can be made into relishes, preserves, and juice drinks, as is done at Evolve Back, Coorg.
Cultivated commercially in India, the Star Fruit is about 2 to 6 inches long. There are two main types of the fruit: the small sour (or tart) type and the larger sweet type. Star fruits taste best when consumed shortly after they ripen, when they are yellow with a light tinge of green, or just after all traces of green have disappeared.
In Southeast Asia, Star Fruits are usually stewed in cloves and sugar, sometimes with apples. In countries like Australia, they may be cooked as a vegetable, pickled, or made into jams.
Unripe and sour Star Fruit types can be mixed with other chopped spices to make relishes. They are also cooked together with fish and shrimp.
The juice from Star Fruit is used in iced drinks, particularly the juice of the sour varieties. In India, the juice is bottled for drinking.
The Star Fruit is rich in antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C.
The trees are also grown as ornamentals for their abundant brightly colored and unusually shaped fruits, as well as for their attractive dark green leaves and their lavender to pink flowers.
The juice of the more acidic sour types can be used to clean rusty or tarnished metal (especially brass) as well as bleach rust stains from cloth.