Finding the Elusive Pawpaw: America’s Largest Native Fruit Ripe for Picking in Northeast Oklahoma
KOKH - September 4, 2023 9:53 am
Paw Paw Tree
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Taking a Labor Day trip to the northeast side of the state this weekend?
Keep an eye out for America’s largest native fruit.
The pawpaw fruit (also known as soursop) is in season right now, but only in a small section of Oklahoma. Northeast Oklahoma lies along its western-most range.
The fruit is a tropical type and a delicacy across Appalachia and the eastern seaboard. People describe its taste as a mix between banana and mango, and the texture like custard.
Pawpaws are impossible to find in grocery stores because they have an extremely short shelf life.
Oklahoma Forestry Services posted about the fruit on Thursday. They recommend “beating the bushes” to get the fruit. Ripened fruit will fall off easily.
The short, deciduous pawpaw trees grow alongside creeks in dappled shade. The Forestry Service recommends eating the fruit and planting the seed.