The Pawpaw: A Southern Delicacy


Of Mice and Mountain MenI have, on several occasions, heard of a mysterious fruit called a pawpaw. On each occasion it was referred to as a Southern delicacy: a fruit tree whose papaya-shaped fruit have the consistency of custard inside a tough, thin-skinned pod and a vanilla-banana flavor.



Benny LaFleur holds two pawpaw fruit from his Del Rio farm.

One of my gardening mentors, Benny La Fleur, recently provided me with a pawpaw fruit to try. He grows them on his farm, along with many other wonderful things. As I had heard, it looks tropical: a greenish-yellow pod about 5 inches long with brown flecks. When cut open I found a soft fruit containing many large (an inch or more in length), brown, bean-like seeds. To me, the fruit tasted much like a banana crème pie, and was a welcome complement to our breakfast.


6/20/2016 11:06:14 AM

Thanks for the informative article. I grow pawpaws in south central Kansas. Bees rarely visit my pawpaw flowers. There is some kind of small fly that seems to be doing the pollination.

10/21/2014 6:38:28 AM

Allan, this is fascinating. I heard the song when I was a child and also heard back then of "Pawpaw Pie" from older relatives. Somehow I thought pawpaws were like sage apples--inedible. Good to see pawpaws are making a comeback. Thanks for your informative research.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters