Being a former resident of Athens, Ohio I was aware of these little paw-paws all around me. There are trees everywhere. I had never eaten one, nor seen one in natural form, only in jams n’ jellies. The paw paw looks like a papaya from the outside, with green skin. However it is in the same family, the Allocenes as ylang-ylang. It is the only member genus of the group that can live outside of tropical zones. Ohio is the home of the “common paw-paw” and they are common, Athens county hosts the Paw Paw festival!
So I ate one. Deelicious! It tastes like a mango/banana with the texture of an avocado. Pretty fantastic. It’s also supposed to be very good for the immune system! The tree bark and leaves and stems can also be used to create an organic fertilizer.
Because of it’s lack of smell pollination doesn’t occur as often as most fruit bearing trees, so some farmers put dead roadkill under the trees (mmm, gross).
The Pawpaw was discovered by white people (Hernando Desoto) in 1541 who found Native Americans harvesting it
It is considered the largest fruit in North America, (I assume this means tree fruit, because watermelons are significantly larger)