Carambola Harvest

Oh yeah! Harvested our first Carambola fruit. I’ve been looking forward to this since 2014, when I tasted my first tree ripened fruit.

It’s a neat tree that has all stages of fruit, most of the year. From bloom to harvest takes a little over two months.┬áHears how the fruit progressed from pea size to hand size:

Carambola ripening. Two are almost ready to eat.
Carambola ripening. Two of them are ready to eat.

Tree ripened fruits are juicy sweet, tart bombs with rose and tropical floral notes. When they turn bright yellow with thin green edges, we harvest them off the tree, and let them finish ripening inside.

It doesn’t take long. In a couple of days the yellow picks up a rosy orange hue, and the edges loose most of their green color.

Now’s the time to enjoy them because they have a short shelf life. In 24 to 48 hours:

  • the fruit loose their floral notes and pick up a strange off taste
  • small tan imperfections in the skin turn a dark brown
  • the greenish color disappears from the the ridges
Two year old Carambola tree.
Two year old Carambola tree.

Refrigerating them doesn’t slow down the process. I think it gives them an even stronger, stranger off taste.

Carambola that pass through our modern food distribution system are, at best passable. They are picked way too early. And being expensive and unfamiliar to many consumers, most sit on the grocery shelf way too long.

I would rather eat them a little greener and mostly flavorless, than eat an over ripe one with with that off flavor.


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