Have you ever eaten a pawpaw? It is one of the most delicious fruits on earth.
The fruits are picked slightly under ripe "at just the right time" and stored in bins by variety and in a chilly 36- to 42-degree refrigerator to slow the ripening process and where they can keep for up to two weeks. Fruits picked too soon will not ripen properly and that will affect the taste.
The pawpaw is a native plant in Frederick, MD, though the varieties grown in the orchard are hardier cultivars:
Each variety has unique characteristics. Shenandoah, with a custard-like texture and a sweet, but mild fruity flavor, and Alleghany, which has a richer flavor, are farmers' market favorites, said Donna. Susquehanna produces larger fruits that are firm with a buttery texture and sweet fruity flavor. PA Golden has a more pronounced pawpaw flavor. Overleese is much like Shenandoah, only smaller. Taytwo has a smooth yellow flesh and a sweet flavor.
The harvested pawpaws are stored in the cooler and shipped out twice a week to buyers. Some go to Mackintosh Fruit Farm in Berryville, Va., for retail sale, some to other farms, and others are sold to the websites http://www.earthy.com/ and http://www.heritagefoodsusa.com/, where they are marketed as a gourmet delicacy for $10 a pound...Some of the Davises’ pawpaws will be made into ice cream again this year by South Mountain Creamery, a Middletown, Md., dairy that produces homemade ice cream, Donna says.
Other interesting facts about the pawpaw from CSM:
Many people may have never heard of a pawpaw, but it is the largest edible fruit native to the United States, Mr. Davis says. It was cultivated by American Indians, nourished early settlers and passed down through generations of some families, he says, but it is gaining a new interest as well among chefs and the local food movement.