The Paw Paw in Our Backyard

Pawpaw Fruit

Shrubs, flowers, ornamental trees of all sorts,  are very common to find in a usual suburban backyard but a Pawpaw tree? That’s what you will find if you come to our backyard (actually two of them).

So what does it tastes like?

I’d rather have my brother in law Ollie step in there as his description is so much more concise and to the point than mine. We sent him a Paw paw fruit via mail to taste it. This is what he said:

“This is a fabulous fruit!  I’m so impressed with this.  The initial flavor is a delightful “JuicyFruit” taste that’s very similar to fresh jakfruit (although the consistency couldn’t be more different).  Then you get the distinctive “annona” flavor, similar to what you’d find in cherimoya, sugar apple, soursop, atemoya (my all-time favorite fruit), and presumably rollinia and custard apple (both of which I’ve never tried).  Unlike soursop and pond apple (a wild annona in South Florida), it’s not overpowering at all.  It’s just perfect, with a perfect level of intensity.  There is absolutely no unpleasant aftertaste at all.  The texture is delightful–it seems to melt away in your mouth, with no fiber whatsoever.  The seeds are, for the most part, unobtrusive (very good flesh-to-seed ratio here).  What’s more, it’s easy to eat out of hand.  Just cut it in small circular pieces, and the extremely thin skin peels right off, very easily.  Truly, this is one of the best fruits I’ve ever experienced.  Outstanding!!!”

Pawpaw

Pawpaw

courtesy of Russ Johnson (Flickr)

You have to understand — to have the approval of my brother in law who’s a tropical fruit expert, is almost as important as being accepted at Standford. These PawPaw trees seem to adapt our brutal Chicago climate very well despite all the late freezes, and such. The only trouble we see for now is how to fight the squirrels who think the trees are theirs.

We waged war against them a while ago since they stole our peaches.

NPR had a nice story that they ran on the PawPaw called Foraging for America’s Forgotten Fruit. Worth a listen.

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