In Search of PawPaws

Have you ever heard of paw-paws? It’s essentially a tropical fruit that can only grow in cold climates, including in New York. I’ve been wanting to try one for decades – and the other day, I finally did.

I cannot oversell them

Her: Wait, you wrote two entries but didn’t write what you were searching for? Man, you know how to draw out the suspense.
Me: (laughing) It’s not that, I just felt it deserved its own entry.

So, I never told you what the goal of my quest the other day was.

The asimina triloba plant is related to the sweetsop or cherimoya fruit plants, which are pretty popular in Australia and Asia and are essentially tropical fruit.

But the asimina triloba – or paw-paw/pawpaw/paw paw (there’s no official spelling) – is super unique in that it’s essentially a tropical fruit that can only grow in cold climates, including in New York.

AND it’s the largest the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States.

My quest was to get my hands on some paw-paw fruit.

For years decades, I’ve been dreaming about having some – evidently, they grow wild all over the joint BUT they’re (a) extremely hard to cultivate for mass market and (b) extremely hard to transport.

And the reason for both is that they don’t ripen very well off the tree, so you have to get them while they’re ripe but once they’re ripe, they’re super soft and easy to bruise/destroy.

Found this out myself the hard way but first, lemme back up a bit.

See, I was randomly doomscrolling on IG the other day when I came across this post from a fella in New Paltz:

Decided that it was worth the trip, and the day, to finally try some out.

When I got there, it was a decidedly underwhelming experience in that it was just a lone – but very nice – fella just standing in front of an empty lot with a plastic table and boxes of fruit.

Me: Can I get these four?
Him: Sure, just put them on the scale…3.5 pounds, at $12 a pound, that’s $42, please?
Me: OK!

These were the biggest, nicest ones I could find.

I’ve never spent $42 on four pieces of fruit in my life, but I figured that I’d been waiting to try these for decades, so it was worth it.

Now, I resisted the urge to eat them right then and there – a group of young men did not and happily chomped down right then and there – and brought them home in my bag, along with everything else, to try them there.

I was gutted when I opened my bag and found one completely smashed opened.

Like I said, that’s why you almost never find them for sale; they’re super difficult to transport without destroying them.

Since they were like $10 each, I salvaged what I could and ate that one first.

It was…amazeballs.

This was the smashed one that I cleaned up the best I could and ate as soon as I got home.

Alla the talk about them being creamy and custardy and a combo of banana and mango with more banana-like texture was spot on.

Her: Wow, that’s really good.
Me: Yeah, I’m gonna have to find a way to get more.

For the rest of the week, I ate the rest, about half at a time.

The kid – thankfully – thought they were good but preferred strawberries.

Me: More for me then!

And since they were all fulla seeds, I’m gonna see if I can grow some trees from them and maybe get them to my sister or mom to grow in their yard in Queens.

These were just amazing. I cannot oversell them.

If you manage to get your hands on some – ideally for less than $12 a pound – you totally should.

I’ll let you know how the tree-growing goes.

Location: another quest for $5 beer and a shot of whiskey with the Firecracker in Hell’s Kitchen
Mood: super beat or still coming down with something
Music: I’m holding on to this hope that I have (Spotify)

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