Foraging: Pawpaw

I’d never even heard of pawpaws before last year, when our neighbor’s girlfriend went scavenging for them around town, but apparently they are indigenous to Virginia.    We have several trees growing along the creek, so last week we broke out the apple plucker on a stick device Will picked up at the local Co-Op and pulled down a cluster.

Turns out, they weren’t fully ripe yet (the pawpaw connoisseurs out there will notice how solid the flesh looks in the picture – the texture should be more like vanilla pudding when it’s ripe).  Luckily, they counter ripen pretty well, as I’m eating one right now.  It tastes a bit like banana pudding made from slightly unripe bananas, but Will tells me it would be sweeter had we allowed them to tree-ripen.  I like it, but it’s not a flavor I see myself craving.  Also, I now feel a need to find a way to bake with pawpaws.

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