Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friut* (for Fruit*)

"Pickin' up pawpaws, put 'em in your pocket ... way down yonder in the pawpaw patch," goes the old children's song, but it appears that few of us have ever actually eaten a pawpaw. Despite the fact that this "tropical" delight is native to the United States (in fact, it's the largest fruit grown on U.S. soil), the pawpaw has never been sold commercially in grocery stores. Lately, however, the lucky, or plucky, fruit lover has been able to purchase pawpaws from certain orchards and select farmers markets. According to a piece on NPR today: "It's sort of mango-meets-the-banana ... with a little hint of melon." Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of the pawpaw, as were Lewis and Clark. Today you can even find pawpaw beer and pawpaw sorbet made from this delectable fruit. Perhaps you can even fry it! We found Friut* four times in OhioLINK and 114 times in WorldCat. Most of them seem to be typos for fruit*, but you may see a few foreign (e.g., Swedish) spellings tossed into the mix.

(The pawpaw tree, Asimina triloba, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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