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Paw Paw: The delicious fruit no one knows about!

Paw Paw is a totally forgotten North American fruit. It grows wild, with no assistance of fertilizer or pesticide, drops buckets of fruit each year, and no one even knows about it! Well, very few people know about it. Its a divine fruit that is related to the cherimoya and soursop, and, like its relatives drops a highly aromatic fruit. This may not mean anything to you, but, aromatic fruits have an aroma.... which is best described as a perfume like element. Its a unique feature to tropical fruits, and the Paw Paw comes from a family of plants most usually from the tropical world. It can be used to make smoothies, ice cream, pies, and jams. Lots of uses, lots of flavor, and available for free in the woods along the east coast and way into the midwest. I know no one collects it as each year when I head to the woods to pick them up, I have no competition!

The Paw Paw usually lives in big groups, so, if you find one tree, you have found 100 trees. They love to live near the waters edge and indeed love to drop their fruit into running bodies of water. But, if you walk along streams, you are likely to find it. Its easy to identify as it has this tropical huge leaves. And by the by, the tree is slight, it can be tall, but, it has a very thin trunk.
Here you can see the leaf close up.
One thing that has always surprised me is that this slight little tree produces a large quantity of fruit and indeed a big fruit. The ones pictured here weighted 1.5 pounds !!!!
The Paw Paw is filled with custard like flesh, with a flavor that reminds me of bananas, peaches, and mangoes, all blended together. And, a whole bunch of big black seeds. I eat them with a spoon, sucking off the custard and spitting out the seed.
Here is the trick. When Paw Paws are ripe, they are ripe. They have a season that lasts about two weeks. So, the best plan is this. Find your Paw Paw stand, and start visiting it towards the end of the summer. Look for fruit up in the tree. Watch the fruit. Once they are about the size of a banana, they are about to be ripe. When you see them on the ground, they are ripe. They just drop.
This would be a true story. The last time I went Paw Paw picking I looked over and saw a bear picking Paw Paws too. I almost Paw-Pawed in my pants. I just backed away very quietly, thinking, you were here first. They are all for you. I mean Paw Paw's are great, but, not good enough to get mauled over!
Cool side note. The Paw Paw comes from the same family as the Ylang Ylang tree. The whole family is perfumed, some have perfumed flowers and some have perfumed fruit. To know what a perfumed fruit is, you will have to go Paw Paw picking.

Disclaimer: The author makes no guarantees as to the the curative effect of any herb or tonic on this website, and no visitor should attempt to use any of the information herein provided as treatment for any illness, weakness, or disease without first consulting a physician or health care provider. Pregnant women should always consult first with a health care professional before taking any treatment.