Ingredient Spotlight: Pawpaws

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Pawpaws are the largest edible fruits native to North America, and they ripen in September. Although they are more common in the Eastern United States, they’ve found their way westward and have been spotted at California farmer’s markets.

Pawpaws are in the same family as the custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop, and have similar taste and texture to these fruits.

The fruits are oblong and with green skin. Inside, the flesh is creamy and fragrant, with rows of dark seeds shaped like lima beans. The taste is like a cross between mango and banana.

Although pawpaw trees are easy to grow and the fruit is both nutritious and delicious, they have never been produced on a large scale because the fruits are highly perishable and difficult to transport and store.