President’s Note: Book Review – Pawpaws: The Complete Growing and Marketing Guide

pawpaws growing marketing guide

Pawpaws: The Complete Growing and Marketing Guide. Cothron, Blake. 2021. New Society. 248 p.

I have had an interest in pawpaws (Asimina triloba) for many years. The pawpaw is an understory short tree or a multi-stemmed shrub native to North America.

This is the latest book on the subject, and covers some of the history, growing, marketing, and the work that is being done to improve the fruit. It also contains one of the most comprehensive cultivar lists I have seen.

The book is definitely written for those who want to grow organically. The author does a good job covering the marketing of the fruit, and speculates that one of the challenges with customer acceptance is the consistency of the fruit. It is more a custard consistency than crunchy like apples, and even under-ripe peaches we find in stores.

He thinks customers are more familiar with the texture of the fruits we buy, and the more tropical custard consistency of the pawpaw flesh turns off some customers.

Currently pawpaws are sold at farmers markets and through specialty grocery stores. Breeding work is focused on improving the ratio of flesh to seed, disease resistance, and the flavor of the fruit.

If you are interested in growing pawpaws this is a good book to start with, especially the pawpaw cultivar list to help you select those for planting.

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