YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (AP) -- Growers of the pawpaw are preparing to harvest the tropical-tasting fruit for the first time since it became Ohio's official native fruit earlier this year.

Over the next two to three weeks, enthusiasts will be enjoying the rich, custard-like texture of the fruit, which is both cultivated and found wild in Ohio's rural woodlands.

The fruit can be found in everything from ice cream to wheat beer to pretzels. Its bold taste wins raves from some, but it can sometimes leave a bitter aftertaste. Fans say picking the pawpaw at the right time is crucial.

Shawn Wright, an Ohio State University Extension researcher based in Piketon, says there is increased interest in the pawpaw, in part because people want to try to eat more locally produced foods.


Information from: Dayton Daily News,

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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