Kentucky Pawpaw

The Pawpaw is a genus of small clustered trees with large leaves and fruit, native to Kentucky; and includes the largest edible fruit indigenous to the continent. This little known fruit, which tastes like a combination of banana, mango, and pineapple, has a very short shelf life and when (and if) you find one you had better eat it quick because it will soon turn into next years fertilizer.

It was getting late in the season to find these rare fruits so Mike Wice and I went to collect the season’s last batch.  He calls them Kentucky Bananas.  🙂

It turns out that we make make a good team at Pawin’. One of us would shake the small, understory, tree while the other watched for the falling fruit.   Using this method we collected about 20 Pawpaws which we either ate or divided up evenly.

While I won’t the give the exact location of our activities I will say that it was close to Berea, KY and that we noticed that harvest time was dependent on what side of the mountain you were picking from.  It seems that South-facing slopes ripen faster than North-facing slopes which makes sense because of the difference in light and temperature.

If you looking for more information about Pawpaws you’ll find a lot of information on the internet, including the KSU Pawpaw Program at Kentucky State University.

So late next summer find yourself a Pawpaw partner and give some of these rare and delicious fruits.