Take a long walk in any of our area’s mid- to late-20th-century neighborhoods and chances are you’ll find a star fruit tree. Starfruit, or carambola, is an exotic tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia with a unique tart flavor. When a sweeter variety was cultivated by a Florida resident named Arkin in the 1970s, this unusual fruit gained popularity and popped up in yards across southern Florida. Starfruit are 100% edible, with a thin, waxy skin and firm flesh. They’re sweetest when left to ripen on the tree until the skin has turned yellow with a hint of green. Their unique sweet and sour flavor makes them versatile to prepare—juiced, pickled, grilled, and dried or added into salads, salsas, and relishes.
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