What Do Pawpaws Taste Like?

Imagine biting into ripe Pawpaw, the largest edible fruit native to North America. It’s a taste that’s hard to compare to anything else, a blend of tropical flavors that’s both exotic and familiar.

The creamy texture and sweet, custard-like flavor might remind you of mango or banana, but something unique about Pawpaw sets it apart.

If you’ve never tried Pawpaw before, you might wonder what the fuss is about. But for those who have experienced the unique taste of this fruit, it’s a flavor that’s hard to forget.

How Do Pawpaws Taste?

When you first taste Pawpaw, you’re greeted with tropical sweetness. It’s a flavor that’s often described as a cross between a mango and a banana, with hints of melon and a custard-like texture. The taste is rich and luscious, with a depth of flavor that’s hard to find in other fruits.

What Do Pawpaws Taste Like

Types Of Pawpaws

  • Sunflower Pawpaw: This variety is known for its large size and sweet, rich flavor. It has a creamy texture and a taste that’s reminiscent of a ripe banana.
  • Mango Pawpaw: As the name suggests, this variety tastes similar to a mango, with a sweet, tropical flavor and a custard-like texture.
  • Shenandoah Pawpaw: This variety is known for its sweet, melon-like flavor. It’s less intense than some other varieties but still has the distinctive pawpaw taste.

Comparing Pawpaws With Other Fruits

  • Mango: Both pawpaws and mangoes have a sweet, tropical flavor, but pawpaws have a creamier texture and a more complex flavor profile.
  • Banana: Pawpaws and bananas share a similar sweetness and a custard-like texture, but pawpaws have a more exotic, tropical flavor.
  • Melon: Pawpaws and melons both have a sweet, refreshing flavor, but pawpaws have a richer, custard-like texture.

Do Pawpaws Taste Good?

The taste of pawpaws is a matter of personal preference.

If you’re a fan of tropical fruits like mangoes and bananas, you’ll likely enjoy Pawpaws’ sweet, custard-like flavor. They have a rich, luscious taste that’s unlike any other fruit.

However, some people find the flavor of pawpaws to be too strong or overpowering.

The taste of a pawpaw can also depend on its ripeness. A perfectly ripe pawpaw has a sweet, tropical flavor, while an underripe pawpaw can be a bit tart. Overripe pawpaws, on the other hand, can have a fermented taste that some people find off-putting.

If you’re not a fan of the taste of fresh pawpaws, you might enjoy them more when they’re frozen. Freezing pawpaws can mellow out their flavor and make them taste more like tropical sorbet. It’s a great way to enjoy the unique taste of pawpaws differently.

What Does Pawpaw Look Like?

Pawpaws are a unique fruit, both in taste and appearance.

They’re typically oval or pear-shaped, with greenish-yellow skin that darkens to brownish as the fruit ripens. The inside of a pawpaw is a bright, custard-like yellow with a creamy texture that’s similar to a ripe avocado.

When buying pawpaws at the grocery store, look for firm fruits that give slightly when pressed. This is a sign that the Pawpaw is ripe and ready to eat. Avoid pawpaws that have dark spots or blemishes, as these can be signs of overripeness or damage.

Pawpaws are a seasonal fruit, typically available in late summer and early fall. If you’re lucky enough to find them at your local grocery store, grab a few and give them a try. You might just discover a new favorite fruit.

Do Pawpaws Have Seeds?

Yes, pawpaws do have seeds. Inside each fruit, you’ll find a number of large, dark brown seeds. The seeds are quite big compared to the size of the fruit, and they’re arranged in two rows.

While pawpaw seeds are not poisonous, they’re not typically eaten. The seeds have a bitter taste that’s not very pleasant. It’s best to remove the seeds before eating the fruit.

When preparing Pawpaw, cut the fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. You can then enjoy the sweet, custard-like flesh of the Pawpaw without any interruptions.

How To Make Pawpaws Taste Good

If you’re new to pawpaws, there are a few tricks you can use to make them taste even better. Here are some tips to help you enjoy this unique fruit:

  • Choose the right ripeness: Pawpaws taste best when they’re perfectly ripe. Look for a pawpaw that’s firm but gives slightly when pressed.
  • Chill before eating: Pawpaws can taste even better when they’re chilled. Try putting your Pawpaw in the fridge for a few hours before you eat it.
  • Remove the seeds: The seeds of a pawpaw can be bitter, so it’s best to remove them before eating. Simply cut the Pawpaw in half and scoop out the seeds.
  • Try frozen: If you’re not a fan of the taste of fresh pawpaws, try freezing them. This can mellow out their flavor and make them taste more like a tropical sorbet.
  • Eat with a sprinkle of lime or lemon juice: A little bit of citrus can help balance the sweetness of the Pawpaw and bring out its tropical flavors.

How To Use Pawpaws In Recipes And Side Dishes

Pawpaws can be a delicious addition to various recipes and side dishes. Their unique, tropical flavor can add sweetness to both sweet and savory dishes. Here are some popular ways to incorporate pawpaws into your cooking:


  • Pawpaw Ice Cream: Pawpaws’ creamy texture and sweet flavor make them perfect for homemade ice cream. Simply puree the pawpaw flesh and mix it with cream, sugar, and a little vanilla. Freeze the mixture until firm, and enjoy a tropical treat.
  • Pawpaw Smoothie: For a quick and healthy breakfast, try adding Pawpaw to your morning smoothie. Combine pawpaw flesh with yogurt, a banana, and a little honey in a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Pawpaw Bread: Similar to banana bread, pawpaw bread is a sweet, moist loaf that’s perfect for breakfast or dessert. Substitute mashed Pawpaw for bananas in your favorite banana bread recipe.

Side Dishes:

  • Pawpaw Salad: Add some tropical flair to your salad by adding fresh Pawpaw. The sweet, creamy fruit pairs well with crisp greens, tangy vinaigrette, and a sprinkle of toasted nuts.
  • Pawpaw Salsa: Try making pawpaw salsa for a unique twist on traditional salsa. For a sweet and spicy dip, combine diced Pawpaw with red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and a little jalapeno.
  • Roasted Pawpaw: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of pawpaws. Simply slice the Pawpaw, remove the seeds, and roast in the oven until caramelized.

Pawpaw FAQs

How do you know when a pawpaw is ripe?

Ripe Pawpaw will be slightly soft to the touch, similar to a ripe avocado. The skin will also change from green to a yellowish-brown color. If the Pawpaw gives off a pleasant, fruity aroma, it’s likely ready to eat.

Can you eat pawpaw skin?

While pawpaw skin isn’t toxic, it’s generally not eaten due to its tough texture and bitter taste. It’s best to peel the skin off before eating the fruit.

Where can you buy pawpaws?

Pawpaws are a bit of a rare find in most grocery stores due to their short shelf life. Your best bet is to look for them at farmers’ markets, specialty food stores, or online during their season, which is typically late summer to early fall.

My Tasty Thoughts

Pawpaws are a unique fruit with a taste that’s truly one-of-a-kind. If you’re a fan of tropical flavors or simply looking to try something new, pawpaws are definitely worth a try. Their sweet, custard-like flavor can add a burst of tropical sweetness to a variety of dishes, from smoothies to salads.

However, pawpaws can be a bit hard to find, especially if you don’t live in an area where they’re grown. They also have a short season and a short shelf life, which can make them a bit of a challenge for the average home cook.

But if you do manage to get your hands on some pawpaws, they’re a culinary treat that’s not to be missed. So why not give Pawpaws a try? You might just discover a new favorite fruit.

About Justin Micheal

Hey, I’m Justin and the home cook behind Food Meets Flavor. I have a passion for cooking and making food delicious. So, I started this blog to help others understand what different types of food taste like and how to make everyday meals taste even better.