#4 – Fruit Fascination: Paw-Paw

I showed some gratitude to my mother in a previous post so I can’t let too much time pass without doing the same for my father because as a team I think they did a decent job with escorting me into adulthood.  In thinking about “back in the day” to the present, daddy always kept himself in pretty good condition… not the best by far, but still considerably better than many of not only his peers, but mine as well when he was their age.  Every so often there would be a person who would confirm this, asking him what his secret was and one of the main responses I remember he would (and probably still does) give them is “I eat a lot of fruits”.  In terms of amount, “a lot” = making sure our fruit basket was filled about twice per month, however “a lot” also regarded variety because beyond the selection one may find at the average Mid-Atlantic supermarket, being from the Caribbean there would often be a need to have fruits grown in a tropical habitat (besides bananas) for a nostalgia fix and daddy wouldn’t mind the slight inconvenience to get it.

It can be said that I not only inherited all this, but thanks to also getting influenced from fellow vegans, I have at least tripled it – I now regularly buy fruits by the case, order exotic ones through the mail a few times per year I either can’t find locally or have never tried, and I have driven up to about 2 hours away to get something special.  The most recent something special I got was paw-paws.


These in the photo are all fully ripe, but when you get them before this stage they would be totally green.  Anyone not familiar may mistake it for a mango but they look rather different on the inside.


It has about 10 fingernail size seeds in it versus a mango which has one big seed.  At $5.00 per pound, I can imagine many people being discouraged from getting any, but whereas they are only available for about one month per year, locally grown & originated, and one of the most delicious fruits in existence (in my opinion) I think it is worth a little splurging.  Additionally, for me those certain fruits which are advised to wait until they get soft before eating seem have a bit of an aphrodisiac effect and this is one of them.  A brief article was written about them in the Washington Post a few days ago –    http://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2014/10/03/where-to-find-pawpaws-north-americas-largest-edible-native-fruit/ – which besides word-of-mouth will hopefully assist them gain popularity because that will mean more places growing them and eventually lower prices.

The name paw-paw may be confusing for some people from the Caribbean because there in many sectors paw-paw is also a nickname for papaya which I eat often too.  Doing so along with any others fruits one can think of I can already see and feel the effects of following my father’s footsteps.



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