The pawpaw been called "the best-tasting, biggest American fruit you probably haven’t tasted." Until a few days ago, I hadn't, either. A few fruiting trees do grow within the five boroughs of New York City, their locations kept secret by those in the know. These ($5 per pound), the bounty of a chance Greenmarket encounter, hailed from Pennsylvania, where the season will run another three, maybe four weeks, according to the farmer.
When the skin yields easily to light pressure, the golden flesh — typical for a member of the custard apple family — has a spoonable, fetchingly creamy texture. Don't dig into the skin or suck the flesh too avidly from the 10 to 12 almond-sized seeds; both are inedible. Chilled, the ripe fruit is easier to slice open and less messy to eat, but at room temperature, the mango-banana aroma and flavor are more pronounced, more becoming.
Rabbits' Run Farm
At the St. George Greenmarket, St. Mark's Pl. at Hyatt St., Staten Island
Saturday only, May-December