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Pawpaw Palooza: Celebrating North America's Delicious Native Fruit

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Andrew Moore holds up a "pawpaw," the biggest fruit native to North America.

The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to the U.S. However, not many people know about the pawpaw or have even tasted the fruit. Author Andrew Moore chronicles the story of this singular plant in his book, “Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit.”

“It’s the biggest thing you’re going to find in the American woods when you’re hunting for fruit,” says Moore. “They’re out in the woods waiting to be discovered.”

The pawpaw is a wonderfully fragrant fruit with a vibrant yellow pulp. People have described its taste as a combination of mango and banana. Pawpaw can be found growing in the woods, near rivers and in some Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Much like apples, this is peak season for pawpaw. According to Moore, “we are under the pawpaw moon.”

The fruit’s name derived from the tropical fruit papaya. While the title of the book calls it America’s forgotten fruit, there’s a renewed interest in pawpaw. When asked what he hopes the book will accomplish for the pawpaw Moore say, “I hope people will ask for it at farmer’s markets, look for it in the woods and get to know it a little better.”

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