Paw Paws: The Losing Streak Continues

I have a relative who’s set up a paw paw nursery, and she passed me a few of the fruits to try out.  The trees are reputed to grow locally (there’s a town not far from here named for the fruit), but I’ve never found them.  Like the mayapple, they are harvested green and kept at room temperature until ripe.  Also like the mayapple, paw paws have a faux-tropical flavor, something like an over-ripe banana.

Preparing Paw Paws

When they were borwn and soft, I sliced the pawpaws the long way and scooped out the flesh.  I fished out the nickel-sized seeds and wound up with a little less than a quarter-cup of pulp per fruit.

Eating Paw Paws

I ate some of the pulp fresh, and ate some after it had chilled in the freezer.  Some of the fruits were a bit over-ripe, which gave them a bitter flavor that I couldn’t handle.  The fruits at the right stage had a pleasant sweet taste raw.

It is my understanding that pawpaw can be used as a substitute for banana when baking.  It’s possible that baking would eliminate the bitter taste.  I didn’t have enough to work with to experiment with baking.

All told, I probably wouldn’t order paw paws if I saw them on the menu.  I planted the seeds in an empty lot near my house, I may have a chance to sample the fruit again in the 15 or so years they should take to fruit.  I’ll be ready to give them another chance by then.

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