Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The pawpaws are ripe. North America's forgotten and largest native fruit now cover the understory of the Old Forest as the ripe pawpaws have begun falling from their branches to the forest floor, leaving a mild sweet-rotten smell in the air.
I took my very first taste of a pawpaw on the hike last Sunday.
It was good, it was rich and it had the texture of custard. It's supposed to taste like mango but I've never tasted mango which puts me in a unique position to say that mango is supposed to taste like pawpaw.
I'm not surprised that you don't see pawpaws, their irregular shape and creamy texture, in grocery stores. But as a featured flavor for liqueurs, beers, ice creams, sorbets, yogurts, chutneys, smoothies, breads, etc., it's long past time for the pawpaw to emerge from the darkness.
Along the path, you might also see the other great fruit of the Old Forest, grapes (these are muscadine), dangling from the canopy,
or wild ginger at your feet.