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Pawpaws

September 2, 2010

A good morning offering from Bob's yard to our staff!

Pealing with a paring knife, per instructions.

Yesterday at staff meeting a colleague reported to us that his two Pawpaw trees have finally begun to produce fruit. Many of us were confused, not knowing what that was, so we urged him to bring in a few. So when I got to work this morning I snapped the picture above with my phone.

Of course, I went and asked Bob for some eating instructions, and he gave them: Peal half the pawpaw with a potato peeler, then with a spoon eat the rest, digging into the rest of the peal. You have to suck off all the meat around the huge black seeds, then spit those out.

Excited about my first bite!

Brianna was equally interested in checking out this new fruit so we agreed to meet back at the kitchen to test Bob’s method!

The coolest thing about pawpaws is that they taste, feel and look like a mashup of a bunch of tropical fruits–banana, mango, papaya–but they’re totally native to North America.

In fact, it’s the largest fruit indigenous to North America! And it’s the only fruiting tree in it’s family that is not confined to tropical climates.

I just love the way that fruit looks when I’m traveling in Mexico and Central/South America. Shapes are odd, colors are off,

there are always splotches and streaks of brown on the skins of oranges, mangos, and plantains.

Brianna gets giddy over the seeds!

They haven’t been made “beautiful” by American standards. That’s what these Pawpaws reminded me of this morning, and it reminded me of my (probably) upcoming December trip to Beleze (where I will be blogging about food, too!)

After eating my first pawpaw, here’s what I think: The taste is sweet in the way that dehydrated bananas are sweet–in fact it tastes surprisingly like dehydrated bananas or banana ice cream! It’s got a creamy texture similar to a really ripe mango. I prefer my mangos just-ripe (a bit more firm), and I wonder if I’d prefer my pawpaws this way, too. I’ll definitely eat these again sometime, but they don’t make my top 5 list of fruits!

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