Are you a resident of America’s Midwest frustrated with the lack of tropical fruits growing in your backyard? While an Ohioan, Hoosier or Wisconsinite will never experience the joys of bananas and mangoes growing right outside the kitchen window, there is an alternative. The Pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba) also known as Quaker’s Delight or Hillbilly Mango is America’s largest edible indigenous fruit. It grows mainly in the Midwest in fertile lowlands and hills.
The Pawpaw produces yellow-green fruit with a soft, fragrant, yellow flesh that tastes like a combination between a banana and a mango. The fruit ripens too quickly to be sold in stores. Even finding one in the wild is a rare treat, as they are quickly gobbled up by wildlife. A prudent Midwesterner, however, may be able to cultivate this tree in their backyard and become the envy of all the tropical states.