pawpaw flower by E.A. Sugden

Kentucky State University
Cooperative Extension Program
pawpaw fruit cluster by D.R. Layne
Pawpaw Research Program
Community Research Service
Atwood Research Facility
Frankfort, KY 40601-2355
USDA National Clonal
Germplasm Repository for Asimina spp.

Cooking with Pawpaws


by Snake C. Jones, Research Assistant, and Dr. Desmond R. Layne, Principal Investigator of Horticulture and Germplasm Repository Curator
Recipes
Pies
Custards
Cookies
Cakes and quick breads
Miscellaneous recipes
Recipe contributors
Table 1, available cultivars
Table 2, nutritional content
Table 3, nutritional daily needs
Bibliography
Other available publications

The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit that is native to the United States. Pawpaws are indigenous to 26 states in the U.S., in a range extending from northern Florida to southern Ontario and as far west as eastern Nebraska. They have provided delicious and nutritious food for Native Americans, European explorers and settlers, and wild animals. They are still being enjoyed in modern America, chiefly in rural areas. There are 27 varieties (Table 1) currently available from more than 50 commercial nurseries in the U.S.

Most enthusiasts agree that the best way to enjoy pawpaws is to eat them raw, outdoors, picked from the tree when they are perfectly ripe. But there are also numerous ways to use them in the kitchen and extend the enjoyment of their tropical flavor beyond the end of the harvest season.

The unique flavor of the fruit resembles a blend of various tropical flavors, including banana, pineapple, and mango. The flavor and custard-like texture make pawpaws a good substitute for bananas in almost any recipe. The common names, 'poor man's banana,' 'American custard apple,' and 'Kentucky banana' reflect these qualities.

Pawpaw's beautiful, maroon colored flowers appear in the spring, and the clusters of fruit ripen in the fall. The Kentucky harvest season is from late August to mid-October. Ripe pawpaw fruits are easily picked, yielding to a gentle tug. Shaking the tree will make them fall off. (If you try this, don't stand under the fruit clusters, and don't say we didn't warn you.) Ripeness can also be gauged by squeezing gently, as you would judge a peach. The flesh should be soft, and the fruit should have a strong, pleasant aroma. The skin color of ripe fruit on the tree ranges from green to yellow, and dark flecks may appear, as on bananas. The skin of picked or fallen fruit may darken to brown or black.

Fully ripe pawpaws last only a few days at room temperature, but may be kept for a week in the refrigerator. If fruit is refrigerated before it is fully ripe, it can be kept for up to three weeks, and can then be allowed to finish ripening at room temperature. Ripe pawpaw flesh, with skin and seeds removed, can be pureed and frozen for later use. Some people even freeze whole fruits.

Pawpaws are very nutritious fruits. They are high in vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese. They are a good source of potassium and several essential amino acids, and they also contain significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. Pawpaws contain these nutrients in amounts that are generally about the same as or greater than those found in bananas, apples, or oranges.

Composition

In comparison with banana, apple, and orange, pawpaws have a higher protein and fat content. Banana exceeds pawpaw in food energy and carbohydrate content. There is little difference among these fruits in dietary fiber content. Pawpaw is most similar to banana in overall composition. Apple is especially low in protein, orange is low in fat, and both are lower than pawpaw or banana in food energy. See Table 2 and Table 3 for details.

Vitamins

Pawpaw has three times as much vitamin C as apple, twice as much as banana, and one third as much as orange. Pawpaw has six times as much riboflavin as apple, and twice as much as orange. Niacin content of pawpaw is twice as high as banana, fourteen times as high as apple, and four times as high as orange. See Table 2 and Table 3 for details.

Minerals

Pawpaw and banana are both high in potassium, having about twice as much as orange and three times as much as apple. Pawpaw has one and a half times as much calcium as orange, and about ten times as much as banana or apple. Pawpaw has two to seven times as much phosphorus, four to twenty times as much magnesium, twenty to seventy times as much iron, five to twenty times as much zinc, five to twelve times as much copper, and sixteen to one hundred times as much manganese, as do banana, apple, or orange. See Table 2 and Table 3 for details. Sodium content has not yet been determined.

Amino acids

The protein in pawpaw contains all of the essential amino acids. Pawpaw exceeds apple in all of the essential amino acids, and it exceeds or equals banana and orange in most of them. See Table 2 and Table 3 for details.

Fats

The profile of fatty acids in pawpaw is preferable to that in banana. Pawpaw has 32% saturated, 40% monounsaturated, and 28% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Banana has 52% saturated, 15% monounsaturated, and 34% polyunsaturated fatty acids.


FEEDBACK REQUEST

Several contributors have sent us recipes for cooking with pawpaws. We are grateful for their generosity in sharing the recipes with us. All recipes have been subjected to minor editing. Please send comments on your successes or failures with these recipes, or any new pawpaw recipes, to Snake Jones at Kentucky State University, 129 Atwood Research, Frankfort, KY 40601-2355; or send e-mail to sjones@gwmail.kysu.edu.


NOTE: Pawpaw pulp can be fermented for production of beer, wine, and brandy. We have no recipes for alcoholic beverages yet. If you have one you are proud of, and if you are willing to share it, please send us a copy. We receive numerous requests for these types of recipes.

photo by R. Neal Petersonphoto by R.L. Geneve
Ripe pawpaw fruit cut crosswise Ripe pawpaw fruit cut lengthwise

PAWPAW RECIPES

PIES

Pawpaw Pie a
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. pawpaw pulp (peeled and seeded)
 
Place all ingredients into stew pan and stir together. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake until the crust is done.

Pawpaw Pie b
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour or cornstarch
2 eggs (reserve whites for meringue)
2 c. milk
1 c. pawpaw pulp
 
Combine sugar and flour. Add egg yolks and milk. When well mixed add pawpaw pulp. Cook until thick and pour into baked pie crust. Cover with meringue and brown in moderate oven.

Pawpaw Cream Pie i
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour or 1/4 c. cornstarch
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 c. milk
1 c. light cream
1 c. pureed pawpaw pulp
3 egg whites
3 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1 baked 9-inch pastry shell
 
Combine sugar and flour or cornstarch. Add the beaten egg yolks, milk, and cream. Mix well and add pawpaw pulp. Cook and stir constantly over low heat until thickened. Cool.

Make a meringue by beating the egg whites stiff with 3 Tbsp. sugar and a pinch of salt. Pour custard into a baked pastry shell and cover with meringue. Bake in a moderate oven (350° F) for 12 minutes or until meringue is browned. Serves 6 to 8.


Pawpaw Pie or Parfait c
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
3 eggs, separated
1 c. strained pawpaw pulp
1/4 c. sugar
 
In a saucepan, mix together brown sugar, gelatin, and salt. Stir in milk and slightly beaten egg yolks. Heat and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from fire and stir in pawpaw pulp. Chill until it mounds slightly when spooned (20 to 30 minutes in refrigerator). Shortly before the mixture is sufficiently set, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks; then gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold the partly set pawpaw mixture thoroughly into egg whites. Pour into a 9-inch graham cracker crust or into parfait glasses and chill until firm. "Then lock the door to keep the neighbors out."

Pawpaw Chiffon Pie i
1 1/2 Tbsp. gelatin
1/4 c. cold water
1/2 c. sugar, brown or white
1/2 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1 c. pureed pawpaw pulp
3 egg whites
1/4 c. white sugar
1 c. heavy cream, whipped
1 baked 9-inch pastry shell
 
Soften gelatin in cold water. Combine the 1/2 c. sugar with the salt, egg yolks, and milk in the top of a double boiler. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin and pawpaw puree. Chill until a spoonful holds its shape (about half an hour). Beat the egg whites stiff with 1/4 c. of white sugar. Fold egg whites and half of the whipped cream into the filling. Pour into the baked pastry shell. Spread remaining whipped cream on top of pie. Serves 6 to 8. NOTE: Graham cracker crust may be used instead of the pastry shell.

Pawpaw Custard Pie d
1 c. 2% milk
1 c. cream
3 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. pureed pawpaw pulp
 
Mixing the ingredients as you add them, beat together the milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and pawpaw. Pour the custard into a pie shell and bake at 450°F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake an additional 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of the pie comes out clean.

CUSTARDS

Pawpaw Custard d
Combine custard ingredients as in Pawpaw Custard Pie, above. Pour custard into 8 custard cups. Line the bottom of a baking pan with a dish cloth, then place the custard cups in the pan. Add boiling water to the pan until it's about 2/3 of the way up the side of the cups. Bake at 325°F for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven just before the custard is set in the center. A knife inserted near the edge of the custard should come out clean.

Pawpaw Custard e
1 c. pawpaw pulp
2 oz. grated coconut
l1/4 c. half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
1 dash salt
2 oz. sugar (superfine preferred)
zest of orange (optional), serrated
 
Mix pawpaw pulp with coconut. Layer on bottom of buttered ovenproof casserole dish. Heat half and half mixed with the vanilla until bubbles form. Beat eggs with salt and sugar and still beating, pour on the half and half very slowly so as not to curdle the eggs. Add the orange rind if using. Pour over fruit and place in a pan of hot water. Bake in a moderate oven (375°F) for 30 minutes or until custard is set. Turn out if possible when cool to show off the fruit layer.

COOKIES


Pawpaw Cookies with Black Walnuts d
3/4 c. pureed pawpaw pulp
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. black walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease one large cookie sheet. Peel and seed fresh pawpaws and process in a food processor until fine. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg. Add the flour mixture and then add the pawpaw pulp. Chop half the nuts (reserve 16 pieces) and blend them in. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet and press a piece of black walnut onto the top of each cookie. Bake 12 minutes or until brown across the top. Makes about 16 cookies.

Pawpaw Cookies b
1 1/2 c. pawpaw pulp
3/4 c. shortening
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
3 c. sifted flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
 
Cream the shortening and sugar thoroughly. Add beaten egg and pawpaw. Stir in the dry ingredients, which have been sifted together, and mix well. Form into small balls and place on cookie sheet. Press into round flat shape with the bottom of a glass that has been lightly greased. Bake in a moderate oven about 15 minutes.


Pawpaw Cookies f
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. diced dates
1 c. water
1/2 c. margarine
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. self-rising flour
2 eggs
1/2 c. pawpaw pulp
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. walnut pieces
 
Mix together raisins, dates, and water. Boil 3 minutes. Add margarine. Blend oatmeal, flour, eggs, baking soda, and nuts. Add cooled cooked mixture and pawpaws. Mix and refrigerate overnight. Spoon dough onto cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Store cookies in refrigerator.

CAKES AND QUICK BREADS

Pawpaw Cake b
1/4 c. shortening c. sugar
1/4 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. mashed pawpaw pulp
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
 
Cream shortening and sugar. Add well beaten egg and mashed pawpaw. Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture. Add vanilla and pour in an 8 inch square pan or two round layer cake pans. Bake at 375°F for 50 minutes. When cool, frost with cream cheese thinned with milk, or with any simple white frosting. Decorate with pawpaw slices.


Pawpaw Cake i
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. pureed pawpaw pulp
1/2 c. chopped pecans or hickory nuts
3 egg whites, beaten stiff
 
Sift first four dry ingredients together. Combine milk and lemon juice and set aside to sour. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, and beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Then add dry ingredients alternately with pawpaw puree and soured milk. Fold in the beaten egg whites and the chopped nuts. Pour into two lightly greased and floured 9-inch layer cake pans. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) 35 to 40 minutes. Frost with:

Lemon Butter Frosting
1/2 c. butter
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
grated lemon rind
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
6 Tbsp. cream (approximately)
 
Cream the butter until fluffy, using an electric mixer. Blend in the lemon juice and a small amount of grated lemon rind. Add the confectioners' sugar gradually along with enough cream to make a frosting of the right spreading consistency. Run the beaters long enough to make the frosting very fluffy. Garnish the top of the frosted cake with a grating of lemon rind.

Spiced Pawpaw Fruit Cake i
31/2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/3 c. shortening
1 1/3 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. pawpaw puree
1 c. raisins
1 1/2 c. chopped nuts
3 c. candied fruits
 
Sift flour with baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices. Cream shortening and gradually blend in sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture alternately with pawpaw puree. Mix raisins, nuts, and fruit, and stir into batter. Turn into 2 greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Bake in a slow oven (300°F) for about 2 hours. Keep a shallow pan of hot water underneath cake throughout baking time. Store cooled cakes in a tightly closed container. Makes about 51/2 pounds of fruit cake.

Pawpaw Bread d
1 c. melted butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. pawpaw pulp
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 c. pecan pieces plus 16 pecan halves
 
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two 9x4x2-inch loaf pans. Beat together butter, sugar, and eggs. Add and beat in the pawpaw pulp and lemon juice. Sift the flour and baking powder together, and stir them into the batter. Stir in the pecans and scrape the batter into the loaf pans. Garnish each loaf with 8 pecan halves, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The top corners of the loaf will burn, but that adds flavor and character.

Pawpaw Bread i
1 c. pawpaw puree
1/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
 
Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pawpaw puree. Sift together remaining dry ingredients and add in four portions, beating smooth each time. Pour batter into a greased, floured loaf pan (8x4x3-inches) and bake in a moderate oven (350°F) for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Cool on rack before slicing. Serve slices buttered or with cream cheese. Makes 1 1oaf. Note: To vary this recipe, add 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 c. chopped pecans, and 1/2 c. candied orange peel.

Pawpaw Muffins d
1 lb. very ripe pawpaws
non-stick vegetable spray
l 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. white cornmeal
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/3 c. 100% pure sweet sorghum
1/4 c. oil
1 c. 2% milk
1/2 c. hickory nut or pecan pieces
1/2 c. raisins
 
Wash and peel pawpaws, and press them through a food mill. Measure out l c. of pulp. Preheat oven to 400°F. Using non-stick vegetable spray, grease 18 medium (21/2 inch or 1/3 cup) muffin cups. If desired, sprinkle a little cornmeal into the bottom of each muffin cup. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Crack the egg into the center of the dry ingredients, and whisk the egg until it is well mixed. Add and whisk in the sorghum, oil, and milk, stirring until they are almost mixed. Using a rubber scraper, stir in the nuts and raisins. With the nuts barely mixed in, and the flour just incorporated, pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling-each about 2/3 full. Bake 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The muffins should be crusty on the top and brown on the bottom. Cool 3 minutes on a wire rack, then lift the muffins from the pan onto the wire rack to finish cooling.

MISCELLANEOUS

Pawpaw Ice Cream i
1 qt. cold milk
6 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
11/2 c. sugar
1 c. pureed pawpaw pulp, or more to taste
juice of 1 lemon
1 qt. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla
 
Scald 3 c. of the milk in the top of a double boiler. Beat eggs well; add salt, sugar, and the remaining cup of milk. Stir egg mixture slowly into the hot milk and cook over a small amount of simmering hot water, stirring constantly, until mixture just coats a clean metal spoon. To prevent curdling, do not have the water boiling vigorously, and take care not to overcook. Stop cooking as soon as the custard coats the spoon and remove from heat at once. Cool pan of custard in another pan containing cold water, then chill thoroughly in refrigerator.

Combine pawpaw puree with the lemon juice and add to the chilled custard along with the cream and vanilla. Pour mixture into a chilled 1-gallon ice cream freezer canister and fit dasher into place. Freeze and ripen according to directions accompanying ice cream freezer, or as follows: Fill the freezer tub around the canister with finely cracked ice and salt, using 1 part ice cream salt to 8 parts of ice, or about 1 qt. of salt for a gallon-sized ice cream freezer. Fill the freezer half full of ice before adding the first layer of salt, then alternate layers of ice and salt until the tub is filled. Freeze until the ice cream stiffens (about 20 minutes with an electric ice cream freezer). Then repack the freezer tub with ice, or remove the ice cream and place it in an ice cream mold, and let the ice cream ripen for several hours before serving.

To repack the freezer, remove the dasher, plug up the hole in the lid of the ice cream canister, drain out the salt water through the hole in the side of the ice cream freezer, and add fresh ice and salt to fill the freezer tub. Put cracked ice, but no salt, over the top of the canister, too. Cover the whole freezer with blankets or newspapers and let it stand in a cool place for several hours.


Pawpaw Pudding d
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. bread flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs
2 c. pawpaw pulp
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. melted butter
 
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. In the center of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: sugar, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Into a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add and whisk the eggs. Whisk until fully mixed. Whisk and mix in the other wet ingredients: pulp, milk, and butter. Pour and scrape the batter into the baking dish and bake 50 minutes. To test for doneness, slide a toothpick into the center of the pudding, and it should come out clean. Like custard, if you jiggle the pan, the center should be set.

Serving: Cut the pudding into squares, and serve it with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, hard sauce, or crème anglaise.


Pawpaw Preserves b
12 pawpaws (about 5 lbs)
2 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1 lemon
1 orange
 
Peel pawpaws. Put in kettle with water, without removing seeds. Boil until soft, then put through a sieve. Add sugar and juice of orange and lemon. Boil until thick. Grated rind of orange or lemon may be added. Put in sterilized jars and seal.


Pawpaw Jell-O b
2 c. pawpaw pulp
1 package lemon Jell-O (6 oz.)
 
Make Jell-O according to instructions on package. Refrigerate until thickened to a syrupy consistency. Stir in pawpaw pulp. Refrigerate.


Pawpaw Milkshake g
Add pawpaw pulp to your favorite vanilla milkshake recipe. One or two tablespoons of pawpaw pulp should suffice for two servings of milkshake. Pawpaw can be conveniently stored for this purpose by freezing spoonfuls of pulp on a cookie sheet, then storing them in a plastic bag after they have frozen solid.

Pawpaw Zabaglione h
6 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. passion fruit liqueur
1 c. pureed pawpaw pulp
1 c. whipping cream
 
Over a simmering double boiler, combine egg yolks and sugar. Meanwhile, heat the liqueur until warm (too much heat will cause it to ignite). Add the warmed liqueur to the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Allow to cool and fold in the pawpaw puree. Whip cream into stiff peaks and fold it into the pawpaw and egg yolk mixture. Serve chilled.


Pawpaw-Pineapple Sherbet i
1 1/2 c. crushed pineapple
1 1/2 c. pureed pawpaw pulp
6 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. orange juice
3/4 c. confectioner's sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. salt
 
Combine the fruits, juices, and sugar, and freeze in refrigerator trays until nearly firm. Beat egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry, and combine with the frozen fruit mixture. Beat sherbet until it is light and fluffy. Return to trays and freeze firm. Serves six.

Pawpaw Punch j
1 *pawpaw
1 1/2 pints cold water
1 strip lime peel
1 pinch of salt
sugar to taste
 
*This recipe was written for soursop, but may be suitable for pawpaw as well. Wash and peel pawpaw, then mash in a bowl with lime peel. Gradually stir in 1 pint water. Mix well and strain. Add another 1/2 pint water, mix, and strain again to be sure all the flavor is extracted. Add salt and sugar. Chill before serving. NOTE: pawpaw extract may also be suitable as a flavoring to be added to ice cream or other recipes.

RECIPE CONTRIBUTORS

a) Nancy Edwards, County Extension Agent for Home Economics, Univ. of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service

b) Peggy Powell, in The Advocate, Mt. Sterling, KY, September 12, 1991

c) Euell Gibbons, who credits "Mountain Measures, a collection of recipes compiled by the Junior League of Charleston, West Virginia"

d) Mark F. Sohn, of Pikeville, KY, from Mountain Country Cooking, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1996Ü

e) Fran Gordenker (in Detroit Free Press, Detroit, MI, date unknown)

f) Joyce Faber, of Urbana, IL

g) Lester Beachey, of Dover, DE

h) Chef Michael Luksa, Yellow Brick Bank Restaurant, Shepherdstown, WV

i) Marilyn Kluger, from The Wild Flavor, published by Jeremy P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, and distributed by Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1973*

j) E. Phyllis Clark, from West Indian Cookery, published by Thomas Nelson & Sons, Ltd., Edinburgh, 1945

*Copyrighted material printed with permission.


Table 1. Commercially available named pawpaw cultivars in the United States a

Cultivar

Origin

Type

Selector, Year

Davis

Illinois

Chance seedling

Corwin Davis, 1959

Ford Amend

Unknown

Chance seedling

Ford Amend, 1950

G-2

Unknown

G.A. Zimmerman seed

John W. McKay, 1942

Glaser

Indiana

Chance seedling

P. Glaser, date unknown

Kirsten

Pennsylvania

Hybrid of Taytwo and Overleese

Tom Mansell, date unknown

Little Rosie

Indiana

Chance seedling

P. Glaser, date unknown

M-1

Unknown

Seedling from G-2

John W. McKay, 1948

Mango

Georgia

Chance seedling

Major C. Collins, 1970

Mary Foos Johnson

Kansas

Chance seedling

Milo Gibson, date unknown

Mason/WLW

Ohio

Chance seedling

Ernest J. Downing, 1938

Middletown

Ohio

Chance seedling

Ernest J. Downing, 1915

Mitchell

Illinois

Chance seedling

Joseph W. Hickman, 1979

NC-1

Ontario

Hybrid of Davis and Overleese

R. Douglas Campbell, 1976

Overleese

Indiana

Chance seedling

W.B. Ward, 1950

PA-Golden

Unknown

George Slate seed

John Gordon, date unknown

Prolific

Michigan

Chance seedling

Corwin Davis, 1980

Rebeccaís Gold

Unknown

Corwin Davis seed

J.M. Riley, 1974

SM-Overleese

New York

Overleese seed

John Gordon, 1982

SM-Zimmerman

New York

G.A. Zimmerman seed

John Gordon, 1982

Silver Creek

Illinois

Chance seedling

K. Schubert, date unknown

Sunflowerb

Kansas

Chance seedling

Milo Gibson, 1970

Sweet Alice

West Virginia

Chance seedling

Homer Jacobs, 1934

Taylor

Michigan

Chance seedling

Corwin Davis, 1968

Taytwo

Michigan

Chance seedling

Corwin Davis, 1968

Wells

Indiana

Chance seedling

David K. Wells, 1990

Wilson

Kentucky

Chance seedling

John V. Creech, 1985

Zimmerman

Unknown

G.A. Zimmerman seed

George Slate, date unknown

a More than 50 commercial nurseries market pawpaw seeds or trees in the U.S. For persons interested in high quality fruit production, we recommend purchasing container-grown trees grafted to a named cultivar. Two or more unrelated trees should be planted to ensure adequate cross-pollination. Regional adaptability will vary for each cultivar.

b Some persons have reported this cultivar to be self-fruitful.


Table 2. Nutritional Comparison of Pawpaw with Other Fruits a

 

Units

Pawpaw

Banana

Apple

Orange

COMPOSITION

 

 

 

 

Food Energy

calories

80

92

59

47

Protein

grams

1.2

1.03

0.19

0.94

Total Fat

grams

1.2

0.48

0.36

0.12

Carbohydrate

grams

18.8

23.4

15.25

11.75

Dietary Fiber

grams

2.6

2.4

2.7

2.4

VITAMINS

 

 

 

 

 

Vitamin A

Reb

8.6

8

5

21

Vitamin A

IUc

87

81

53

205

Vitamin C

milligrams

18.3

9.1

5.7

53.2

Thiamin

milligrams

0.01

0.045

0.017

0.087

Riboflavin

milligrams

0.09

0.1

0.014

0.04

Niacin

milligrams

1.1

0.54

0.077

0.282

MINERALS

 

 

 

 

 

Potassium

milligrams

345

396

115

181

Calcium

milligrams

63

6

7

40

Phosphorus

milligrams

47

20

7

14

Magnesium

milligrams

113

29

5

10

Iron

milligrams

7

0.31

0.18

0.1

Zinc

milligrams

0.9

0.16

0.04

0.07

Copper

milligrams

0.5

0.104

0.041

0.045

Manganese

milligrams

2.6

0.152

0.045

0.025

ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS

 

 

 

Histidine

milligrams

21

81

3

18

Isoleucine

milligrams

70

33

8

25

Leucine

milligrams

81

71

12

23

Lysine

milligrams

60

48

12

47

Methionine

milligrams

15

11

2

20

Cystine

milligrams

4

17

3

10

Phenylalanine

milligrams

51

38

5

31

Tyrosine

milligrams

25

24

4

16

Threonine

milligrams

46

34

7

15

Tryptophan

milligrams

9

12

2

9

Valine

milligrams

58

47

9

40

a Mean value per 100 grams edible portion. Pawpaw analysis was done on pulp with skin, although the skin is not considered edible. Probably much of the dietary fiber, and possibly some of the fat, would be thrown away with the skin. Number in bold face represents the highest value for each component.

b Retinol Equivalents-these units are used in the most recent National Research Council Recommended Dietary Allowances table (1989).

c International Units-these units are still seen on many labels.


Table 3. Portion of Daily Needs Provided by Pawpaw in Comparison with Other Fruits a
Pawpaw Banana Apple Orange
COMPOSITION
Food Energy b 4.0 4.6 3.0 2.4
Protein b 2.4 2.1 0.4 1.9
Total Fat b 1.8 0.7 0.6 0.2
Carbohydrate b 6.3 7.8 5.1 3.9
Dietary Fiber b 10.4 9.6 10.8 9.6
VITAMINS
Vitamin A c 1.0 0.9 0.6 2.3
Vitamin C c 30.5 1 5.2 9.5 88.7
Thiamin c 0.8 3.5 1.3 6.7
Riboflavin c 6.0 6.7 0.9 2.7
Niacin c 6.5 3.2 0.5 1.7
MINERALS
Potassium b 9.9 11.3 3.3 5.2
Calcium c 7.9 0.8 0.9 5.0
Phosphorus c 5.9 2.5 0.9 1.8
Magnesium c 35.9 9.2 1.6 3.2
Iron c 56 2.5 1.4 0.8
Zinc c 6.7 1.2 0.3 0.5
Copper d 22.2 4.6 1.8 2.0
Manganese d 74.3 4.3 1.3 0.7
ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS
Histidine e 3.5 13.5 0.5 3.0
Isoleucine e 11.6 5.5 1.3 4.2
Leucine e 9.6 8.5 1.4 2.7
Lysine e 8.4 6.7 1.7 6.5
Methionine + Cystine e 2.4 3.6 0.6 3.8
Phenylalanine + Tyrosine e 9 7.4 1.1 5.6
Threonine e 10.8 8.1 1.7 3.6
Tryptophan e 4.3 5.7 1.0 4.3
Valine e 9.7 7.8 1.5 6.7
a Percentage of daily nutritional need per 100 gram serving. Number in bold face represents highest value for each component.
b Percentage of Daily Reference Value, based on a diet of 2,000 Calories a day for adults.
c Percentage of the 1989 NAS-NRC Recommended Dietary Allowance, average value for women and men ages 25-50.
d Percentage of the Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake, average value for adults.
e Percentage of the estimated amino acid requirement for a 60 kg (130 lb) adult.
photo by R. Neal Peterson

Fall Color resembles that of the maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba L.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Check out our Pawpaw Fact Sheet on the World Wide Web.

For information on growing pawpaws, tree and seed sources, or on the Pawpaw Research Program, write to Pawpaw Research Program at Kentucky State University, 129 Atwood Research, Frankfort, KY 40601-2355; or send e-mail to sjones@gwmail.kysu.edu.

COMING ATTRACTIONS:
We're working on setting up a WWW home page and database of pawpaw information. We hope to have it on-line by spring, 1997. If you would like to receive an email announcement of the launching of our web page, please send an e-mail message to sjones@gwmail.kysu.edu.

photo by R. Jones

Mr. pawpaw with corrective eyewear

Bibliography

  • National Research Council Food and Nutrition Board, 1989. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th edition. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

  • Kurtzweil, Paula, 1991. 'Daily Values' Encourage Healthy Diet. http://www.fda.gov//bbs/topics/CONSUMER/CON00225.html

  • Peterson, R. Neal, John P. Cherry, and Joseph G. Simmons, 1982. Composition of Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) Fruit. Ann. Rpt. N. Nut Growers Assoc. 77:97-106.

  • Full USDA Nutrient Database listings. http://www.fatfree.com/usda/all.shtml

  • Preparation of this pawpaw information bulletin was supported in part by FY 95 USDA- 1890 Capacity Building Grant # 95-38814-1721 to D.R. Layne.

Other Publications Available upon Request:

  1. Layne, D.R. 1997. Pawpaws. In: Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties, Third Edition, A.S.H.S. Press, Alexandria, VA.

  2. Layne, D.R. 1996. The Pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal]: A new fruit crop for Kentucky and the United States. HortScience 31:15-22.

  3. Layne, D.R. 1996. The pawpaw: promising future for an American tree crop. The Temperate Agroforester 4(3):4-6.

  4. Layne, D.R. 1996. Development of pawpaw as a new fruit crop: research update from K.S.U. Pomona 29(4):37-47.

  5. Layne, D.R. 1996. The all-American pawpaw. Part 1: Revival efforts may bear much 'fruit'. The Fruit Gardener magazine, May/June Issue Cover photo and article on p.12- 14.

  6. Layne, D.R. 1996. The all-American pawpaw. Part 2: Research, cultivation, and the future. The Fruit Gardener magazine, July/August Issue p. 6-9, 26.

  7. Peterson, R.N., J.P. Cherry and J.G. Simmons. 1982. Composition of pawpaw (Asimina triloba) fruit. Ann. Rpt. N. Nut Growers Assoc. 77:97-106.

  8. The PawPaw Foundation. 1994. Pawpaws in the nursery trade. 1 p.

  9. The PawPaw Foundation. 1990. Pawpaws in the garden. 1 p.

  10. The PawPaw Foundation. 1990. Guide to evaluating pawpaws. 2 p.

  11. PawPaw Foundation brochure with membership information.


To receive other publications, please send your name, mailing address, and the titles you wish to receive to:

Pawpaw Research Program
129 Atwood Research Facility
Kentucky State University
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-2355
photo by R. Neal Peterson

Mature pawpaw tree in sunny location

KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY - UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY - AND KENTUCKY COUNTIES COOPERATING


Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension System serve all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, marital or familial status.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work Act of September 29, 1977, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Harold R. Benson, Administrator, Cooperative Extension Program, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky.