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Hunting For The Elusive Pawpaw

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Oct 18, 2021
Hunting For The Elusive Pawpaw

A few months back, we got an email that set us off on an adventure. It came from Sara Bir, author of The Pocket Pawpaw Cookbook. Sara is obsessed with pawpaws, the largest fruit native to North America. “Pawpaws are tricky in the kitchen,” Sara wrote. “You can't buy them in stores. Occasionally they cause people to vomit. But pawpaws are truly beguiling, reminiscent of tropical fruit like mangoes and bananas.” With the help of her connections in the pawpaw dark web, Sara had identified one of the few pawpaw patches in the New York area. Can Dan and Sara find a pawpaw in the wild? And why does the pawpaw — also known as the poor man’s banana and hillbilly mango — inspire such a cultish following?

For more pictures of Dan’s pawpaw quest, and to check out Chef Ron’s pawpaw crème brûlée, check out Dan’s Instagram!

To learn more about Catawba Nation and DeLesslin "Roo" George-Warren's work, visit And you can get more information about the Ohio Pawpaw Festival here.

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

  • "Marimba Feels Good" by Stephen Sullivan
  • "Back At It" by Bira
  • "Galilei Counterpoint" by Paul Fonfara
  • "Mars Casino" by Leisure Birds
  • "Loud" by Bira
  • "My Little Friend" by Ken Brahmstedt
  • "Butler County Hayride" by Stephen Sullivan

Photo courtesy of Dan Pashman.

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