Paw Paw-The North American Forgotten Fruit
The American Banana For The North
Paw Paw-A Sweet Treat To Eat
The paw paw tree has to be one of the United States best kept secrets. It was mistaken named the paw paw when first discovered and thought to be related to the papaya but it taste closer to the banana or melon family. The tree is cold hardy even in the colder regions of the United States such as Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and prolific in Southern states. It multiples fast by seed so must be cultivated or you could end up with a jungle very quickly of paw paw trees.
The fruit of the paw paw is oblong and green when unripe and turns a golden yellow as it ripens and when you can smell the banana-melon scent then the fruit is ready to be used. The fruit grows in clusters and is rich in Vitamins A and C. The enzymes in paw paw are said to help tone the stomach by aiding in digestion. The enzyme papin helps to digest proteins and is found in the fruit of the paw paw.
Paw Paws can be peeled and eaten raw. They can be used in fruit smoothies, slushies or tropical drinks for a delicious banana-melon flavor. The paw paw can also be used in baking just like a banana. Try substituting a cup of mashed paw paw instead of bananas the next time you make banana bread for a sweet surprize flavor.