Pawpaws are a curious fruit, little known to most of us, even though this native fruit has a long history in North America.
The pawpaw is indigenous to the temperate woodlands of the east and is the largest edible fruit that is native to the United States. They have provided delicious and nutritious food for Native Americans, European explorers, settlers and wild animals for centuries.
Pawpaws have a tropical-fruit flavor, something like a blend of ripe banana, pineapple and mango, but indefinably unique. The distinctive flavor and custardy texture of pawpaws are the basis for the folk names "poor man's banana, " "custard apple" and "Hoosier banana."
Pawpaws are also a very nutritious fruit. High in vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese, they're also a good source of potassium and essential amino acids and contain significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus and zinc.