Meet the “hipster banana.” Also known as the “quaker delight,” the “hillbilly mango,” or it’s actual name—the pawpaw.
September is pawpaw season in a large swath of the U.S., but you won’t find the pawpaw in most grocery stores, even though they’re native to North America. American Indians harvested them, and it’s been said George Washington liked to eat chilled pawpaw for dessert. But much of the pawpaw’s natural habitat was destroyed by development, and they’re not that easy to cultivate. They need slightly acidic, well-drained soil, and harvesting them is labor-intensive.
The locavore food movement has embraced the fruit. Now there are restaurants whipping up pawpaw pie and pawpaw gelato, and local breweries are starting to make pawpaw beer.
Photograph: Tyrone Turner/WAMU