|Nearly Forgotten Native Paw Paw Fruit Makes NYC Market Debut;
Taliaferro Farm Brings Cranberry Bean Harvest to Ossining;
Autumn Offers Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Apples, Squash + MORE
October 9th-15th, 2014
Click on a Market to see all vendor and event details…
In celebration of the effort to Bring Your Own Bag to the market – BYOBag – Mead Orchards is offering a FREE reusable bag with all purchases of $5 or more.
We thank all the vendors – and shoppers! – for helping the Ossining market eliminate plastic shopping bags.
For additional events, visit our Down to Earth Markets Event Calendar.
|Eat as Thomas Jefferson Ate a.k.a. It’s Paw Paw Season|
A few weeks ago, a man named Dan Frampton came to our office for his appointment to discuss becoming a vendor with Down to Earth Markets. [Nothing unusual there.]
We welcomed him in, and he placed a box of his product on the meeting table and opened it. [This has happened before, too.]
Yet what he placed before us was a brand new sight: Paw paw fruit.
If it were 200 years ago, and Dan had walked into Thomas Jefferson’s office or Lewis and Clark’s campsite, he would have shown them a fruit that they – like most people then – ate regularly. Today, however, the paw paw is a nearly forgotten fruit.
It’s native to the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern areas of the United States. It’s a member of the Annonaceae family of plants, a.k.a. the custard apple family, best known for magnolias and other trees that enjoy the tropics. According to an NPR report, the paw paw tree is the “only temperate member” of this tropical family of trees. According to Merriam-Webster, the name paw paw is “probably a modification” of the Spanish word papaya. Indeed, we’re talking about close fruit cousins.
The paw paw is about the size of a potato and ranges in color from yellow to green. On the inside, its yellow flesh is smooth and custard-like with big brown seeds. It has a short season of ripeness – just a few weeks – and when it’s ripe, it’s creamy and sweet. Some people say it has “melon undertones”. One of paw paw’s nicknames is the Indiana Banana.It’s kind of like a papaya banana mango melon.
Dan is working with a farmer who grows paw paws on a 200 acre farm in Wallkill, New York. He says it’s “super easy” to grow paw paws, as bugs “don’t really care for it.” They didn’t need pesticides in the growing process. Dan went on to explain that the paw paw is the “the gold standard for fruit protein.” To support his words, the Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program has written that paw paws have more proteins than bananas, as well as three times the amount of vitamin C than apples.
So how could a native American fruit that tastes like a tropical, is easy to grow, and full of health benefits almost disappear? According to Dan, “We don’t like less than perfect fruits” and the paw paw bruises easily. Over the past couple of generations, we’ve come to think that fruit should be unblemished. It arrives in the conventional grocery store in perfect shape, despite having traveled for thousands of miles. The paw paw, however, doesn’t pretty up after a long trip, so they fell out of favor. Paw paws are best served local.
Slow Food USA lists the paw paw in its Ark of Taste, the “living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction.” So here’s a fun challenge: Let’s bring back the paw paw. Down to Earth Markets been a venue for up-and-starting food entrepreneurs for years, but in this case, the new food company is serving a fruit that has been on this land for centuries. If you’re in the city this weekend, find Dan under his Paw Pawlicious tent at our farmers markets in Morningside Park and Park Slope – and let us know if you believe there’s a paw paw Renaissance to come!
|Rotating* Vendors This Week
*Vendors who rotate through various markets during the season.
They enjoy getting to know many communities, and here’s where to find them this week:
Larchmont – Saturday, Oct. 11th
Ossining – Saturday, Oct. 11th
Croton-on-Hudson – Sunday, Oct. 12th
Piermont – Sunday, Oct. 12th
Rye – Sunday, Oct. 12th
Down to Earth Markets 173 Main Street Ossining, NY 10562 Phone: 914-923-4837