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Thursday, October 20, 2016

The "It Tastes Like ..... Well ..... Ewww! Story

The size of a pawpaw can be seen in this photo.
I placed it next to a large green apple for comparison.
It was an ordinary day.  Just cut the pawpaw in half to taste it.  I held it to my nose and couldn't really determine what it smelled like.  Carol tasted a small piece of it and said, "Ewww!"  "Just glad I didn't have to pay for it," I told her.  Ever hear of a pawpaw?  I had heard of one before, but had no idea what they looked like, smelled like, how big they were or what they tasted like.  Finally got the chance today when I cut the pawpaw in half and tasted the fruit for the first time.  I heard about them recently and told my wife that I bet I could find some on market since fall is the time of year when they mature and ripen.  
Pawpaws for sale on market for $3.00 a box.
Went to my favorite market stand and sure enough, there were a couple of boxes of the fruit at Meck's Produce stand at Central Market in downtown Lancaster, PA.  The fruit grows on small trees that have a thin trunk with big tropical leaves.  Wouldn't have known what they were if it wasn't for the sign next to them. I asked Bob, who came to help me, about them and he did his best to try and explain the flavor and odor they yield.  Told me he has a few pawpaw trees at the edge of his orchard that produce the pawpaw fruit every year.  There are customers who enjoy the flavor and aroma of the fruit and that's why he still raises them every year.  Tough to raise and ship to other markets since they bruise so easily.  Probably the reason that they are slowly becoming extinct.  He told me that some people say they taste like a combination of banana, mango, strawberry and pineapple all rolled into one.
A look at the inside of the fruit.  You are supposed to peal
the fruit like a peach.  You can see one of the many seeds
I found when I cut the fruit open.
Also told me he has a customer that says they have a custard taste to them.  Sounds like something I would enjoy.  Asked him if I could buy just one so I can give it a try before I buy an entire box of them.  Picked out one of the best looking pawpaws and handed it to me.  Told me to take it home, let it ripen a couple more days and give it a try.  Well, today was that day and I must tell you, the aroma was disgusting as was the flavor.  I'm not sure I can even describe the smell or taste.  After cutting it I found a large seed in the fruit.  I pulled out the seed and came upon another large seed.  After cutting some more, I found about a half dozen of the smooth seeds.  I have read that the pawpaw is high in vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and iron, but I'm afraid the "Ewww!" in the fruit is going to have me searching for these vitamins somewhere else.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.          

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