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Old 09-26-2008, 02:31 PM
 
Location: PA (work in NJ)
6,611 posts, read 8,523,875 times
Reputation: 13046

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I just discovered this fruit last week! I know that in the southeast US they are more common, so they may be nothing new to some of you.

A local farmer in PA is now raising and selling paw paws. They look like a big oval-shaped pear, and they smell and taste delicious! Evidently they are indigenous to 25 US states and parts of Canada, and they were eaten a lot by native Americans and early settlers. The farmer told me they are big in Ohio, where there is an annual paw paw festival.

You basically just cut one in half, and eat out the flesh with a spoon. There are big seeds, but they're so big you can easily eat around them. The fruit tastes sort-of like a pear, combined with a banana, and maybe a little peach thrown in. There are also all kinds of recipes for using them in desserts. I'm trying to figure out how to make a paw-paw daquiri, which I'm anticipating will be yummy.

It sounds like they are hard to cultivate. They grow on trees that can grow to about 15-20 feet tall. It's hard to get the seeds to germinate, and when you do get a tree it's very hard to get the flowers to pollenate. Then they go from not-ripe-at-all to very-ripe-eat-very-quickly almost instantaneously, so some of the fruit tends to go to waste and fall on the ground.

Anyway, I searched and didn't find any threads on this site about Paw-paws, so had to post about them.

The article the farmer was giving out at our local farmer's market said that they are the largest fruit native to north America. They are also one of the rare fruits that actually have protein in them. They have lots of other nutrients as well, like potassium.

Does anyone else out there like them? Anyone else (like me) never heard of them?
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:25 PM
 
Location: South Bay Native
9,758 posts, read 13,645,948 times
Reputation: 13790
Never heard of Paw Paws - but I don't think they grow in Cali. I found a link with a pic for anyone who might recognize:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ARS_pawpaw.jpg

We do have some "different" fruit here in CA too, though, like the gold nuggets. I wonder do these grow in other states too? They are apparently a type of loquat. FWIW, they are rarely if ever seen in the supermarkets around here, but I have lots of neighbors with these trees:

http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/.../Loquat-lg.jpg
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:31 PM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,372 posts, read 5,139,060 times
Reputation: 743
Yep, I've had a paw paw. They're pretty good. I'm really glad to hear someone is cultivating more of our interesting native fruits!
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:11 PM
bjh
Status: "Remove foil before microwaving." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
20,361 posts, read 12,134,824 times
Reputation: 92854
I've heard the term, but never seen one. Hmmm.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:43 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 2,963,400 times
Reputation: 939
I used to find them all the time while squirrel hunting with my Dad. This was near St. Louis, in the early '80's. He worked for the Conservation Dept. and knew all about edible wild plants. Seems like they grew in the understory in the woods in damp areas. We also found morels, persimmons, wild grapes and sassafrass. They tasted like a bit like a banana if I remember, but not as strong.
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Interior Low Plateau
185 posts, read 249,600 times
Reputation: 88
I've eaten many of them. Taste like a banana with a consistency of a pumpkin. In the old days, they were pickled to stave off starvation in Appalachia.
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Interior Low Plateau
185 posts, read 249,600 times
Reputation: 88
Ever pucker up to a persimmon that wasn't ripe?
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Maple Lake, MN
8,673 posts, read 9,893,264 times
Reputation: 10154
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I just discovered this fruit last week! I know that in the southeast US they are more common, so they may be nothing new to some of you.

A local farmer in PA is now raising and selling paw paws. They look like a big oval-shaped pear, and they smell and taste delicious! Evidently they are indigenous to 25 US states and parts of Canada, and they were eaten a lot by native Americans and early settlers. The farmer told me they are big in Ohio, where there is an annual paw paw festival.

You basically just cut one in half, and eat out the flesh with a spoon. There are big seeds, but they're so big you can easily eat around them. The fruit tastes sort-of like a pear, combined with a banana, and maybe a little peach thrown in. There are also all kinds of recipes for using them in desserts. I'm trying to figure out how to make a paw-paw daquiri, which I'm anticipating will be yummy.

It sounds like they are hard to cultivate. They grow on trees that can grow to about 15-20 feet tall. It's hard to get the seeds to germinate, and when you do get a tree it's very hard to get the flowers to pollenate. Then they go from not-ripe-at-all to very-ripe-eat-very-quickly almost instantaneously, so some of the fruit tends to go to waste and fall on the ground.

Anyway, I searched and didn't find any threads on this site about Paw-paws, so had to post about them.

The article the farmer was giving out at our local farmer's market said that they are the largest fruit native to north America. They are also one of the rare fruits that actually have protein in them. They have lots of other nutrients as well, like potassium.

Does anyone else out there like them? Anyone else (like me) never heard of them?
Heard of them - yes. Like them - don't know yet... want one - yes and will have a paw-paw daquiri, Pleez????
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:17 AM
 
Location: USA
1,582 posts, read 3,033,256 times
Reputation: 578
I've eaten them and like them. I had never heard of them until I started hunting in the woods of PA where they grow wild.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Floribama
8,957 posts, read 16,187,704 times
Reputation: 5372
I have two Paw Paw trees, but they're not old enough to bear fruit yet, they do grow slowly. I have a friend in SW Ohio who had a big crop on his trees this year.
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