Today, on the last morning of my family visit, my mother discovered a perfectly ripe paw paw that had fallen from one of their trees. This was a great treat because paw paws have taken on an almost mythical quality in my mind–I have heard about this fruit, which is a member of the otherwise-tropical custard apple family, but I have never had an opportunity to taste one. Paw paws are not a commercially viable fruit because they do not ship or store well, but if you are lucky enough to live near a native stand or have trees that bear fruit, they are really delicious. Here is the specimen before we opened it up:
They are best gathered right after they fall from the tree, when they yield slightly to pressure. The interior has multiple large, black seeds and a creamy, custard-like flesh:
Wow, are they delicious–true to their nicknames, they do have a banana-like flavor crossed with something tropical (maybe mango?) and a really distinct floral flavor. Quite delicious. Apparently some people scoop out the pulp and use it in banana bread recipes, which sounds pretty tasty.
If I am ever fortunate enough to have a bunch of these on hand, I will absolutely use them to make a batch of ice cream. A great treat for my last morning–and now I fly. I will not be blogging the airport food, although Shapiro’s is pretty great and they have an outlet at the Indy airport.
Thanks for reading,