the Past, Present & Future
The papaw is a relative of tropical fruits. It has some other names;
such as, False Banana, Custard Apple and Michigan Banana. The papaw
is the only member of the Custard Apple family (Annonaceae) which
grows outside of the tropics.
The tree is small and slender, about 8 to 12 feet tall. The flowers
appear in late April or May. They are about an inch and a half in
diameter. They are green at first and then turn purple before falling.
The fruit is three to five inches long and shaped like a kidney bean.
The yellowish-green skin turns brown after being picked. The seeds
are large and brown. The pulp is yellow and very sweet.
Gather the fruit after it falls and make papaw cordial or papaw chutney.
Some places to see papaws are at Stratford, Washington’s Birthplace
or Westmoreland State Park on the hiking trails. You can ask
the Park Rangers about where they are, so you will know what they
look like. Who knows! You may have some on your own Northern Neck
Put fruit, with seeds and skin removed into a container like a quart
jar. Use about 1 cup of pulp to 2 cups of sugar. Fill the container
with Vodka. The ABC ladies say you can use cheap Vodka when making
cordials, because nobody know! Shake every day for a month. Strain