What’s green, shaped like a mango and tastes like a banana? If you said “pawpaw,” you’re one of the growing number of gourmands who are hip to North America’s largest edible native fruit.
“It looks like a tropical fruit, not something you’d expect to find hanging around in October in North America,” says Matt Cohen, a local nature guide.
The pawpaw tree grows on the banks of the Potomac, but you probably won’t find any fruit in the wild this late in the season, Cohen says. If you hurry, you can buy pawpaws at a few area farmers markets and farms for around $5 a pound.
“This is definitely the last chance to get them,” says Danielle Tergis, of Freshfarm Markets. Here’s where:
The Farm at Sunnyside at the Dupont Circle Freshfarm Market; Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Falcon Ridge Farm at the Olney Farmers & Artists Market, 2801 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md.; Sun., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Calomiris Fruits & Vegetables in Eastern Market, 225 Seventh St. SE; Tue.-Fri., 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat., 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Order online at integrationacres.com within the next week.
In April, Michelle Obama planted a pawpaw sapling in the White House Kitchen Garden.
To get fruit, you need to plant at least two unrelated pawpaws near one another.
Pawpaws depend on beetles and flies for pollination, and attract them with flowers that smell faintly of decaying flesh.