Have you heard of the PAWPAW?
There are entire festivals devoted to this native U.S. fruit, in fact one is happening right now!
I have to tell you, I wish I was there. I wish I was there because I had the rare opportunity to try the PawPaw (A very generous friend acquired some and shared her bounty) and I had no idea what to do with it.
Usually when stuck with a fruit, little time and no reference I would make a jam. So that is what I set out to do with these pawpaws I’d been gifted.
Turns out, getting flesh from a pawpaw is like getting blood from stone, well almost that hard.
Observe, two standard sized pawpaws:
They look ample, right? Filled with fruit! You could probably get at least an ounce or two of sweet custardy pawpaw flesh from one of those suckers!
With pawpaws, as with many delicious edibles in life, you get seeds.
I am talking giant seeds:
And separating the seeds from the flesh is a messy, messy business. They are perfectly smooth and slippery, (very pretty really)
and go deep into the fruit and there are about five to a pawpaw.
My pawpaws were in various stages of ripeness. This may have contributed to the difficulty I had peeling and seeding my pawpaws. Maybe at an ideal ripeness they are a bit easier to handle. They were very sweet and had a deep fruity fragrance not unlike mango, but earthier. Their insides almost resemble a custard, very creamy and I think they are called “custard apples” in some parts.
Pawpaws would make a great ice cream, sorbet or smoothie. I imagine they’d be fantastic in pies, sauces, purees, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t really have time to sit down to a bushel of pawpaws and go to town getting that tasty flesh out. I was given 8 of these lil’ babies and the pic below, shows you just how much I was able to glean from them. Not much. If they had less of those massive river stone sized seeds, (and I was not such a lazybones) I imagine they’d be quite popular.
Even though my time with these pawpaws was somewhat frustrating, I was glad to have tried them and I do look forward to the day that they become available in canned/jarred form or that the country decides to follow Europe’s direction and give three months off during the year or initiates siestas so that we can have more time to devote to discovering and deconstructing lesser known fruits!
In the end I put my pawpaw remains over some yogurt, and literally enjoyed the fruits of my labor.