Hearts of palm are the edible inner leaves from a cabbage palm tree stem. A slim, ivory-colored tree, the cabbage palm is the official state tree of Florida. Typically ranging from pencil-thin to 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long, hearts of palm look similar to white asparagus.
The flavor of a heart of palm is similar to an artichoke, and its texture is equally firm and smooth. Hearts of palm are sold fresh as well as canned. Hearts of palm can be used raw in salads and other dishes, or they can be stir-fried or deep fried as an ingredient in a recipe.