Pawpaw Fruit Facts


Let's dig into today's topic. Paul can we start with you You heard my story about how I discovered. Papa's thanks to you How did you discover? Papa's well I stood. Discovered Papa's in the native of trees of Canada. I discovered them on a page. Not In reality. Unfortunately I grew up in a family that was in the produce business My both my grandfathers this were farmers Where we're in the Agra in the native you know in the native Place for Papa's grew or still grow but I had never tasted them mhm nor heard of them and it piqued my interest so much because we had always Prided ourselves on being the first to taste everything that came into the market and new member. One Re Pini Dini came in and went Avocados came into the market and when kiwifruit and star fruit and all. Those things first appeared here And this it was the kind of our native exotic that I had never experienced. So it was part of a schoolyard naturalization pro project and really part of more broadly of using native plants to restore habitat. And so there is there is that broader Value of these trees while of course because they are native They're co evolved with all the insects and diseases that That are here. so they're not susceptible to them and and they host Many important species as well so tell me something so you read about it in a book there. Was this naturalization project in your neighborhood or something. What did you guys do? You never heard about the train you go and you buy it and you plant. or how did that happen well. This was the early nineties so for me. The early days of the of the Internet and I did track someone down through through the interweb of that day. You know very very BA barebones in those days And found some of the Niagara and into we had just you know we were. We're lucky we had just moved into a new home. We had a front yard. That was kind of a had been lawn and of course we didn't want to have lawn anymore. We don't have any lawn and it's such a such a poor use of the small space that we had in in urban setting So we wanted to plant it with native trees stories and We also wanted to scare the view to our neighbor across the street and When I came home we came home? Not with two trees but with two sticks As my partner so kindly So kindly described them and so it took about ten years. Oh my gosh. So th the next ingredient is patients it is. It's really a slow food. Okay it's very slow so it took Tennessee. You plant these trees. Your partner is okay with it. Look like two little sticks What did they look like as they were growing up? As you're nurturing these two little sticks what are they looking. I think the first thing that I notice about them was just so how distinctive the leaves czar. They look like no other tree and I have had a number of people Just walked down the sidewalk and look at them and then the bravest among them go like what tree is that. I think I know all the trees but I've never seen something with such a long feather shaped leaf And you know my my friend. Who spent a lot of time in America around Cacao Trees Religious Jew really notes. How similar they are to cow as well in their structure so they are a very unique looking tree And the and then a when the blossoms came out the blossoms are also fascinating as well. They're very dark Maroon Maroon color I believe they're mimicking meet because they are pollinated by midges That are attracted blow flies. which are attracted to dead meat? So what do they smell like. Do they smell like dead meat. So if you don't smell like dead meat they are the the. They are a little acrid smelling rolling. They're they're certainly not fragrant like an apple blossom right okay so you plant this tree and you're hanging in there and you're waiting mm-hmm and you're waiting you're waiting did you at some point. Did you almost lose your enthusiasm for this. Great idea of planting palm tree. No I think we're there. There are many other things going on and I was very hopeful and I and it was just as I was reading more and more of the work that Lorraine Johnson was doing and other other great Authors were doing around native plants and I would start accumulating references to pop. Aw and when and the more I read about dumb and the and the more I read descriptions of of their flavor the more we just couldn't lose interest because I was just kind of salivating every year and then there is frustration because for a couple of years we got some blossoms but no fruit set and so actually getting pollination especially on isolated trees in in an area where there's really no native no no other surrounding trees that could cross pollinate with them. It took a long time so finally the day comes that you start to see fruit for me. Tell me about what year was that and what was going on for you. That was two thousand and four. I I was involved in agriculture. At that point I was working in the wine industry Saw Back and forth in Agra Lot and really felt that I was kind of telling the the the agricultural story in our urban setting and this was another part of that story And so as they foreign we got very excited. I why did you know the the small. The small mammals do like to climb up and down the trees and sometimes knocked them off before they're fully ripe so that was a little bit of a frustration. Especially when you're you know and we would count the fruits right at the end of his own fifteen this year you know. And then and then there's attrition through the whole season right and but when those first fruits did ripen and you could smell their ripe and you could feel they were right They became very highly price in our in our in jealously guarded. Oh Yeah Y.. Y within our household as well yes okay so in your household old guy. Your first ripe fruit. Is this actually the first time you taste papa. Your own fruit yes. I had never had that point. There were no I. I hadn't yet to see them at farmers markets Forbes wild foods does have some now and now there are some other farmers who are growing them in in a more more commercial quantities. But at that point not at all so what did you think I was just blown away. The the flavor is so mystifyingly defying Li exotic so tropical in its character The texture is so silky and smooth and as they get ripe they get this. Really really beautiful. Creme Brulee characters a bit of a roasted character to them that is just really satisfying and really enhance and attractive. And and then of course you want to multiply your pleasures by sharing them. So that's really what I started to do. Work through slow food and other organizations to you want to really share share the beauty of the of that

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