Getting Friendly With My Neighborhood Pawpaw


On a recent trip to the farm I discovered the unusual fruit known as pawpaw. This is something I’ve never seen or heard of before so naturally, I had to investigate. I found the owner of the farm and he  told me a little bit about this fruit. The pawpaw is the largest fruit native to America and can be found in the south and eastern parts of the country. I’d describe it as a very bruised avocado-like fruit, with the texture of a thick custard and a flavor profile of a cross between a very sweet banana and mango.

The pawpaw you see above is of the Shenandoah variety, and once picked they ripen pretty quickly, to the point of you having to use them within 24-48hrs. Once I got these home I threw them in the freezer, not knowing what to do with them. Google didn’t really come up with too many ideas, so I figured since they are similar to bananas I’d find a recipe that I could adapt. And in true Britannia fashion, I introduced the fruit to my very good friend, alcohol.

The farmer suggested making a pawpaw ice cream; not having an ice cream machine I opted for something a little simpler, inspired by this New York Times article I read last week.

Pawpaw Russian Shake

2 Cups of very cheap, plain vanilla ice cream — the idea here is that the ice cream will not be too flavorful so the pawpaw dominates.
1 Pawpaw
1 Cup of Vodka

Remove the ice cream from the freezer 30 minutes before use. Cut the pawpaw in half, scoop out the fruit, discarding the seeds and skin — there are about 10 seeds per fruit. Blend the ice cream to a creamy consistency, add the pawpaw and blend further until mixed, add the vodka and blend for an additional 30 seconds. Serve in a chilled glass.

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  • Borracho September 17, 2010  

    Sounds absolutely great! Can’t wait to try and search out pawpaw and try

  • andrew September 17, 2010  

    They named a tunnel in Murland after it:

  • BS September 21, 2010  

    wow – i would never have guessed that pawpaws were from the U.S. A locavore alternative to mangoes?

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