Hundreds attend festival celebrating native pawpaws

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

Pennsylvania might be known for its apple orchards, but hundreds visited Horn Farm Center in Hellam Township this weekend to try the only tropical-type fruit native to the state.

The 14th annual Pawpaw Festival drew large crowds, which sampled several varieties of the fruit raw and in creations, including salsa, ice cream and, the most popular, frozen pops.

Described by coordinator Wendy Brister as "sorta like a mushy banana, but it tastes more mango, pineapple flavors," the pawpaw has a thick green skin, pale to bright yellow flesh and dark brown seeds.

Instructions, hung in several spots around the festival, advised guests on the proper way to eat a pawpaw.

Guests sample the pawpaw fruit, from raw to ice cream during the annual Pawpaw Festival at Horn Farm Center, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.  John A. Pavoncello photo

1. Do not eat the skin. (Why not? You don't eat the skin of a banana)

2. Do not eat the seeds. (Why not? You don't eat apple seeds)

3. Scoop out pulp with a spoon or just eat directly off skin.

Of course, the directions didn't stop some daredevils from trying the skin. Most of them quickly spit it out into garbage cans strategically placed around the sample tables.

Frozen pops made from the fruit seemed to be the hit, especially with children.

"In the past we had 500 people attend over two days; (Saturday) we had over 500 people, so we are growing," Brister said.