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Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit [Andrew Moore, Michael W. Twitty] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The largest edible fruit.
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Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit

Categories navigate down. Newsletters navigate down. Critical State Daily Newsletter. Pawpaws grow in clusters of one to six green fruit, which darken to a yellowish-black as they ripen. Credit: Andrew Moore.

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Pawpaw : In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit

Like avocados, pawpaws Skip to main content. Search form Search. The Forgotten Fruit. By Maya Parson September 08, Imagine slipping into a time machine that could take you back hundreds of years to the earliest European exploration of what we now call the United States.

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What would you find to eat in the woods and fields of Michiana? Now imagine going back much, much further—say tens of thousands of years before any humans occupied the continent.

Pawpaw In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit Andrew Moore

If you were lucky, you might find a fruit that still grows today in the understory of eastern forests from the Midwest to the South: the pawpaw. The only temperate member of the custard-apple family which includes its more familiar tropical cousins, the cherimoya and soursop , prizewinning pawpaws can grow as large as grapefruits. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the pawpaw, given its long history as a source of sustenance for indigenous Americans and European settlers, is the fact that the fruit is largely unknown today, even in its native habitat.

European explorers including the Lewis and Clark expedition, which survived several days on a propitious pawpaw patch and countless settlers followed suit, enjoying the fruit straight from the tree and in baked goods. George Washington planted pawpaws at Mount Vernon.


Thomas Jefferson collected pawpaw seeds from the hills of Virginia to send to Europe. Today pawpaws can still be found in the woods surrounding Monticello. Today, however, few Americans are familiar with the fruit that seems as though it should be as American as apple pie. Read it, then grab your boots and get picking. Pawpaws are in season in Michiana starting in the early fall.