The Washington Post

Pawpaw-spotting: A refresher on the Potomac’s sweet fruit


The pawpaw: It’s the tasty, hard-to-find, fun-to-say, banks-of-the-Potomac-grown fruit you might’ve not heard of.

At least not lately.

The pawpaw, once widely consumed by America’s pioneers and Native Americans, grew increasingly scarce due to, among other things, male-female flower pollination difficulties, writer Barbara Camrosch reported in an archived Washington Post article.

But now NPR reports that the fruit could be making a comeback thanks to careful breeding and increased interest from food scientists. Here’s what you should know about this fragile fruit:

Taste buds. NPR’s Allison Aubrey went hunting for the pawpaw recently, describing it as a “sort of mango-meets-the-banana ... with a little hint of melon.” Another claim to fame: The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to North America.

The great pawpaw hunt. If you’d like to spot a pawpaw in the wild, today is the day to do it — the fruit ripens during September and “pawpaw season” runs through early October.

Cooking with pawpaws. The smooth texture of the pawpaw lends itself to uncooked recipes. Think puddings and sorbets. Other recipes of note: the pawpaw pudding, the pawpaw parfait and pawpaw cookies.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.