Widely recognized as star fruit or Carambola, Balimbing is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia. In Tagalog, it is called “Balimbing,” while Bicolanos refer to it as “Dolongan.” This unique fruit reveals a star-like shape when sliced, thanks to the distinct linear ridges that run along its exterior. The entire fruit is edible, from the skin to the fleshy interior, which houses several tiny seeds.

Dolongan or Carambola fruits offer a juicy, slightly bitter to sour taste when young, which gradually transforms into a pleasant sweetness as they ripen. Each fruit comprises 91% water, 7% carbohydrates, 4% sugar, and a small amount of protein, making it a hydrating and relatively low-calorie snack.

Carambola trees thrive in total sun exposure and prefer humid environments with abundant rainfall. They are typically grown in tropical and subtropical regions, such as Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and South America. The fruit is a good source of vitamins C and A and fiber, making it a nutritious addition to one’s diet.

Due to its distinct flavor and appearance, star fruit has become a popular ingredient in various culinary applications. It can be enjoyed fresh or used in salads, desserts, and drinks. The fruit’s slightly tart taste is also suitable for savory dishes, such as stir-fries and chutneys. In traditional medicine, Dolongan has been used to treat various ailments, including coughs, fevers, and digestive issues. However, it is essential to note that individuals with kidney issues should exercise caution, as star fruit contains oxalates, which can harm those with impaired kidney function.