Monday, February 27, 2012

American Pawpaw ( Asimina triloba )

Fruit Warehouse | American Pawpaw ( Asimina triloba ) | The pawpaw is a patch-forming (clonal) understory tree found in well-drained, deep, fertile bottom-land and Hilly upland habitat, with large, simple leaves and large fruits, the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States. Asimina triloba, the pawpaw, paw paw, paw-paw, or common pawpaw, is a species of Asimina (pawpaw the genus) in the same plant family (the Annonaceae) as the custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop.

The large leaves of pawpaw trees are clustered symmetrically at the ends of the branches, giving a distinctive imbricated appearance to the tree's foliage. In autumn the leaves are a rusty yellow, the which the make pawpaw groves spotting possible from a long distance. Pawpaw flowers are perfect, about 1-2 inches (3-5 cm) across, rich red-purple or maroon when mature, with three sepals and six petals. The fruit of the pawpaw is a large, Yellowish-green to brown berry, 2-6 in (5-16 cm) long and 1-3 in (3-7 cm) broad, weighing from 0.7-18 oz (20-500 g), containing Several brown seeds 1/2 to 1 in. (15-25 mm) in diameter embedded in the soft, edible fruit pulp. When mature, the heavy fruits weak bend the branches down.

Wild-collected pawpaw fruits, RIPE in late August to mid September, have long been a favorite treat throughout the tree's extensive native range in eastern North America, and on occasion are sold locally at farmers' markets. Pawpaw fruits have a sweet, somewhat custardish flavor similar to banana, mango, and cantaloupe, varying significantly by source or cultivar, with more protein than most fruits.  Fresh fruits of the pawpaw are commonly eaten raw, either chilled or at room temperature. The easily bruised pawpaw fruits do not ship well unless frozen. Where pawpaws grow, the fruit pulp is also locally Often used in baked dessert recipes, with pawpaw Often substituted with volumetric Equivalency in many banana-based recipes. Pawpaws are also used for juice-making,  as either a fresh pawpaw drink drink or in mixtures (for example, a pawpaw, pineapple, banana, lime, lemon, and orange tea mix).

Pawpaws have never been cultivated for Their fruits on the scale of apples (Malus domestica) or peaches (Prunus Persica), primarily Because pawpaw fruits ripen to the point of fermentation soon after They are picked, and only frozen fruit will store or ship well. In recent years, cultivation of pawpaws for fruit production has attracted renewed interest, particularly Among organic growers, as a native fruit with few to no pests, successfully grown without pesticides.

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