The paw paw has been a favorite of Beargrass Thunder for a while; we have been eagerly waiting for these to become ripe all year! Paw paw fruits are known to be a type of delicacy around these parts. The fruit is only ripe during a period of about three weeks out of the whole year. It is most commonly eaten raw but can also be substituted in many banana-based recipes as well as blended into ice cream or even pancake batter!
The fruit itself is often described as a mango, banana, and pineapple mixed together. It has a skin-like peel, and the delicious fruit inside is very sweet and has a consistency similar to custard. Needless to say, it is very delicious!
Not only is the fruit of the Paw Paw amazing, but like the Spicebush, the Paw Paw also has its own special species of caterpillar/butterfly called the Zebra Swallowtail, who's caterpillar depends on the Paw Paw tree as it's food source!
Both of these plants would be a great choice to consider planting on your property, as they are both native to the area, and also the sole food source for their respective species of caterpillar and butterflies!
Jody and I (from Beargrass Thunder) joined Rosemary Bauman, a Forest Steward, who led their mini expedition into the forest to find and taste the paw paw fruit, and learn about Kentucky-native plants and critters along the way!
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