1. Q: I have noticed something called a star fruit the grocery stores. Can you give me some information about this?

A: Carambola (Averrhoa carambola) is often called star fruit in the market because of its five- or six-pointed star-shape in cross-section. It is a decidely tropical fruit; some commercial production exists in Dade County, FL, and there may be some in Hawaii--the rest coming from the Islands and Mexico.

The fruit does become a clear yellow color at maturity, rarely with a modest blush. The skin is very thin and tender and is most definitely edible. The flavor is mostly quite tart, with some selections (clones) being a bit sweeter than others. The flavor is rather unique to the unfamiliar palate, which is why most use in this country until the last few years was limited to fruit compotes and/or slices floating in a bowl of punch.

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