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Aug 29, 2007 01:21 PM

It’s pawpaw season – recipes and ideas?

I’ve never had a pawpaw and a local farm is selling them. What do you think of pawpaws and how do you use them?

Gleaned from the web:


Wiki with pictures, nutritional info (better than bananas) and recipe for pawpaw lassi.

“The pawpaw is related to the cherimoya and soursop, not the papaya. Pawpaws taste and feel somewhat like bananas, and can generally be used in recipes calling for bananas”

Another wiki with lots more info

Nice pictures from the local SF vendor

There are 28 varieties. Here's info about six of them

AFFINITIES: Mint, citrus, pineapple, coconut, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla, milk, cream


- eat fresh: Cut them in half and scoop the flesh out, eat, spitting out large seeds or Open one end and squeeze flesh into your mouth

- Use in recipes with little or no heat since the volatile flavor compounds are destroyed by heating … the pawpaw is best suited to recipes that require little or no heat … ice cream, sorbet, smoothies, chiffon pies, mousse, etc

- That being said, supposedly they taste similar to bananas and can be used in banana bread recipes. It is sometimes called a Hoosier or prarie banana because of the taste.

- green pawpaws can be eaten as a vegetable. They make a good substitute for squash in a curry and are delicious in a salad.

- Size varies depending on variety and are between 5 ounces and 1 pound
- Look for a plump, round shape, similar to a mango
- Fragrant floral aroma
- Yield easily to the touch like a ripe avocado
- Skin turns lighter green, then yellow and develops brown blotches like a banana
- Flesh should be yellow and soft like custard.

Pawpaws are very perishable and ripe will only keep 2 days at room temperature. They keep a week in the fridge. Storing pawpaws at less than 40F is not recommended since it often changes the flavor, producing caramel-like notes.


Freeze, don’t can when your pawpaw gets a little too ripe

Freeze measured dollops of pureed pulp on waxed paper, then wrap each individually.


Ohio PawPaw Festival

"Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch."


Lots of recipes including pies, custards, cookies, cakes, quick breads, ice cream, pudding, preserves, jello, shake, Zabaglione, pineapple-pawpaw sherbet, punch,

Pawpaw wine

Spicy Autumn Pawpaw Cake with a Pawpaw Cream Cheese Frosting

Green Paw Paw Curry & Prawns Bombay

Pawpaw chiffon pie


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  1. I haven't tasted one since I was a much younger man. We have some in our farm bottoms and Grandmaw rounded up a few. It tased like a custardy banana to me. Quite rich and sweet. I know they didn't last long as everybody wanted a bite. They are pretty hard to harvest as the woods animals are on them very quickly and thgey spoil quite quickly as well. fFct is I haven't seen a ripe on on our trees in years. You are lucky to find a local source.

    1. I finally tried a paw paw. My take is that it has the taste of a very ripe banana with the texture of a mango. I'm not sure if I like it or not. The variety I tried needed to feel soft, almost like pudding. The outer skin had mainly turned black. The local vendor picked out the paw paws that were ripe and ready to eat. I may have hit the last week of the local paw paw crop, but if there are any next week I'll buy a few more to get a better idea.

      1. I love pawpaws, rare here in Philly. Great job on this page hope it's okay to put a link on my blog 'Philly Market Cafe'

        1. It's Pawpaw season here in Virginia, we live near the Potomac and find good stands of them along the creeks that feed the river. Since they don't all ripen at once, you can gather them for an extended period of time.

          We shake the tree trunks and then pick up the fruit that is ripe enough to fall to the ground rather than pick them right off the trees.

          Last season, I called the C&O Canal National Park headquarters and was told that people are allowed to pick pawpaws in the park - I think you are limited to a gallon per person, and that they grow thickly all along near the canal and the Potomac River from Maryland on up to West Virginia.