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Unfamiliar fruit: The nutrients of a pawpaw fruit

A fun thing about being a dietitian is learning about new foods. Pawpaws are certainly not a fruit I was familiar with, so a big thank you to Local Foods Small Farms Educator Doug Gucker for bringing in a pawpaw for me to sample and photograph.

From what I experienced eating a pawpaw, I thought its sweet aroma was tropical, like a pineapple. Its texture was soft like a banana, and slippery like a mango. Its taste is something all of its own, and something I have difficulty describing. Overall, I enjoyed my sample.

While not much nutritional information is available, Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension shows pawpaws have a similar nutritional profile to other fruits. It is a source of carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.

  • Buy: Although native to the U.S., pawpaws are not commonly sold in stores. If you decide to grow a tree or find someone who has pawpaws, look for ripe fruit with a slight softness, like a peach or mango, and a pleasant, sweet aroma.
  • Price: I have not seen pawpaws sold, and cannot gauge a price. Feel free to leave a comment on this blog if you know a price on pawpaws in your area.
  • Store: Once ripe, use pawpaws within a few days. Refrigerating may lengthen shelf-life.
  • Eat: Of recipes I have seen, pawpaws are used pureed. Try some of the recipes from the Reference list, and send pictures of any you try.