A star apple tree blooms and fruits for the first time

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The seeds from a gigantic piece of fruit bought from Mr. Liu's impressie little farm on the Pan-American Highway a bit east of the town of Capira were nurted in a pot, transplanted in the ground a little more than one year ago, and putting our flowers and fruit a bit sooner than expected.
A seed from a gigantic piece of fruit bought at Mr. Liu’s impressive farm on the Pan-American Highway a bit east of the town of Capira was sown and nurtured in a pot, transplanted into the ground a little more than one year ago, and the tree is now putting our flowers and fruit a bit sooner than expected.

What you call them may vary — shall we just call it the good stuff?

First fruits on a young tree

Photos by Eric Jackson

Yes, we know that North America’s apple farmers would throw a litigious fit were these tasty fruit, “star apples” in Zonian English, Averrhoa carambola according to its scientific name, called any sort of apple. Moreover the caimito — an unrelated and not very similar fruit we also have in Panama — is also sometimes called a star apple. In North America they get marketed as “star fruit” and around a Panamanian fruit market if you ask for a carambola, estrella or “fruta china” they will figure out what you mean. (Isn’t it so very typical that to Panamanians almost anything exotic is Chinese? These things are thought to be originally from the islands off of South or Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka most frequently mentioned, but their cultivation all across tropical and subtropical Asia is ancient.) They are in fact not apples, but you can actually get a good result adapting an apple pie recipe using these sliced but not peeled and taking into account that they have a bit more liquid than apples.

Star Apple 3
This, by the way, is part of the editor’s “other job” as a Third World subsistence peasant.

 

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