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Hot on the heels of D.C. chef José Andrés‘ campaign to reacquaint ignorant Americans with their own native paw-paw fruit, The Daily Meal ranks the juicy Ohio delicacy among the weirdest state foods in the U.S.: “The fruit’s pulp has a custardy consistency like a ripe banana, and is said to taste remotely like a mango. The Ohio State PawPaw Fest features a cook-off, and this year’s winners included pizza with pawpaw marinara sauce, pawpaw cheesecake, and pawpaw chipotle sauce.”
Ah, yes, but can they pull-off a paw-paw foam, paw-paw gel, or paw-paw air? Enter Andrés.
Appearing on NPR on Wednesday, the Steven Seagal of the D.C. food scene pledged to serve the juicy oddity at his new pop-up restaurant, America Eats Tavern, beginning in September. His aim: “to make sure that no dish, no ingredient, no person is forgotten like paw-paws. How that the most amazing American fruit, 95 percent of America, doesn’t know about?”
Guilty. Heck, I used to live in Ohio, and I forgot about them.
Andrés didn’t specify how he planned to plate the fruit. But, based on the current America Eats menu, I’m betting on pickled paw-paw for starters.