The Indiana Banana

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,


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  1. We enjoyed our first ever taste of paw paw last summer from mom and dad's trees. Very yummy!

  2. I have heard about paw paws my entire life and never really thought about what they really looked like much less how they taste. I'd love to try one sometime.

  3. Karen, I hope I get to try them again next year. They were pretty delicious and almost tropical in flavor.

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