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Paw Paw - From Discovery to Clinical Trials – Video 1h 7min  

Pawpaws, A Uniquely American Fruit  
Paw paws Today 

Today, more than 50 commercial nurseries market paw paw seeds or trees in the US and there are more than 27 varieties currently available.  The pawpaw Foundation at Kentucky State University is actively working to revive the fruit by promoting scientific research in the areas of paw paw breeding, growing, managing, harvesting, and use.  
Thanks to the efforts of growers and researchers - and the many paw paw lovers in rural areas of the central east, where paw paws never fell out of favor we can still enjoy this noble American fruit today.
Enjoying Pawpaws 
The Paw paw has a creamy, custard-like flesh with a tropical flavor, which is often described as a combination of mango, pineapple, and banana. Most enthusiasts agree that the best way to enjoy pawpaws is to eat them raw after they are picked from trees and areperfectly ripe.  
Fully ripe pawpaws last only a few days at roomtemperature, but may be kept for a week in the refrigerator. Allow fruit to finish ripening at room temperature before eating. Never eat the skin or seeds. //


What Is a Paw Paw?   
Elizabeth Palermo, Life's Little Mysteries Contributor | May 24, 2013 12:09pm ET  

What tastes like a cross between a banana and a mango and might be growing in your neighborhood right now? If you're not sure, you probably don't know about the paw paw.

A little-known native of the eastern United States, paw paw fruit has yellow-green skin and soft, orange flesh with a creamy, custard-like consistency and a delicious, sweet flavor. 
[Science You Can Eat: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Food]

These qualities have earned it the nickname "custard apple," but it also goes by "poor man's banana" and "Indiana banana."

The paw paw tree ( 
Asimina triloba ) is indigenous to 26 states in the United States, growing wild from the Gulf Coast up to the Great Lakes region.
It's a favorite host plant of the zebra swallow tail butterfly , whose larvae feed on the leaves.
Historically,  the fruit was enjoyed by Native Americans and early European settlers alike. 
At least two U.S. presidents favored paw paws:  George Washington  reportedly enjoyed them for dessert, and  Thomas Jefferson was known to have grown paw paws at Monticello.
Today  the paw paw, which often grows along the banks of rivers and streams, is a convenient snack for kayakers and a staple in the autumn diets of many country dwellers.

Paw paw aficionados eat the fruit straight from the tree, or use it in a variety of delicious recipes. 
Paw paw  ice cream , anyone? 
How about paw paw-nut bread?  

But despite this fruit's popularity with locals and its rich nutritional value
(it's high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins A and C and several essential minerals)the pawpaw has managed to stay out of most grocery stores and off the radar of big agriculture. 

The odd beanlike shape and mottled skin of the pawpaw make it a hard sell to consumers who don't know the custardy sweetness that lies beneath the fruit's exterior. And the pawpaw doesn't travel well: It bruises easily and has a short shelf life (two to three days at room temperature).

So if you want to give paw paws a try, don't run to the supermarket. Instead, look for this fruit at farmer's markets and specialty stores — including some online retailers — in the late summer or early autumn.
If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can purchase your own pawpaw trees and start harvesting these fruits within a few years. As a native of the United States, it has few pests and doesn't need much care.
But be forewarned that the pawpaw's maroon blossom, while beautiful, is said to smell like rotting meat — which might further explain its delayed cultivation. (Bees and other insects show little interest in the pawpaw flower, so hand-pollination is sometimes required.)


Description  (USDA Plant Guide)

General: Custard-apple or Annona family (Annonaceae).
This perennial tree or shrub grows from 3 to 12 m tall. The drooping, pear-shaped leaves are alternate, from 10 to 30 cm long, with smooth margins and pointed tips. The leaves are coated with fine whitish hairs on the upper surface with rusty-colored hairs on the under-side. Leaves are aromatic, with a smell reminiscent of bell pepper. Inconspicuous but interesting flowers (4 to 5cm in diameter) with 3 sepals, are green upon opening and turn to dark purple or maroon in color. From 1 to 4 flowers grow in the leaf axils before leafing, usually in April or May.
The six velvety petals (2cm-2.5cm long) are stiff and curl slightly backwards. Yellowish green to brown, cylindrical, mango-shaped fruits are 7-16 cm long and grow solitarily or 2 to 4 together. The large fruits (5 to 16 ounces) ripen between August and October. Fruits have a thin skin, which contain a yellow custard-like pulp that is said to taste like papaya. Some varieties contain a whitish-green pulp that is less flavorful. Fruits contain several flat 2cm long seeds. The deciduous leaves turn bright yellow before dropping in the fall.

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