Way down yonder on the 1 train I’m hoping
September 22, 2022 4:25 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find pawpaws in NYC ? I’ve always wanted to try one, and according to the New Yorker apparently now they’re all the rage here. So of course it must be true 🙄. Is there anyplace I can buy one / some between now and Rosh Hashana (Sunday night), ideally in Manhattan but that’s not a dealbreaker?

I’m googling and have already tried Asian Veggies (my usual go-to). I don’t have a ton of time to run around, so I’d rather avoid “maybe-try…” answers unless I can find out if they have them over the phone or via email beforehand. Thanks!
posted by Mchelly to Food & Drink (11 answers total)

Pawpaw is a tree fruit that grows from Michigan down to Florida and is most abundant in Appalachian Ohio. It is not the same as a papaya in this context.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:02 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]

We have a paw-paw “patch” that flowers but haven’t seen fruit. We have deer, so that may be a factor. I haven’t seen a commercial offering of this Appalachian native fruit. Most sightings have been when I was coming or going from the Appalachian Trail (nearby farms-with-dining, for example) I’ve seen them in the mountains of MD and PA, but no idea who sells them. Good luck!
posted by childofTethys at 6:44 AM on September 22

Pawpaws are highly perishable, and in my experience (not in NYC) they're really only available at farmers' markets. In general, I wouldn't expect them to show up anywhere that gets its produce from the commercial cold chain.

If you know of NYC stores that do a lot of "farm-to-store" produce, that would be the kind of place I would look. If there are any big farmers' markets which have lists of "what's at the market this week", scour those lists as well.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:45 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

I was just in Charlotte NC and was told at a locavore restaurant which had a paw paw custard when I 1st looked at their online menu that it was no longer in season.
posted by brujita at 7:41 AM on September 22

In searching around I noticed that this question gets asked on Reddit around this time of year for the past several seasons. Each time someone chimes in with a vague "a guy sells them at the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket" without any further details. I follow the grownyc_manhattan account on Instagram and just asked them if anyone will have pawpaws this weekend. Will let you know what they say if they answer.
posted by plastic_animals at 8:08 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

Pawpaws are almost impossible to find in NYC -- I know people who have looked.

But there is a plant nursery in Gowanus that brings them in from Pennsylvania one day a year. According to this Instagram post, it will probably be on Oct. 10th this year -- though it's probably wise to follow them for updates.
posted by neroli at 9:08 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]

I'm in the mid-atlantic, but a Korean grocery devotee an a RH celebrator. What about fresh rambutan or lychee? or "weird" (by which I mean not sold in US groceries or fruit/veg stories) melons at alternatives? Maybe different groundcherries? Not just Hammi. Trying to offer new-fruit (that isn't pomegranate-- delicious but boring) if you cant find what you're looking for.
posted by atomicstone at 10:49 AM on September 22

I found some last year at a greenmarket in Brooklyn. I only saw them the one week.
posted by Liesl at 1:20 PM on September 22

Unfortunately, although the grownyc_manhattan account posted a couple of times earlier today they haven't answered my question about whether any growers would have pawpaws this weekend.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:19 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Not NYC, but Chesterfield Organic Orchards in Chesterfield, NJ has them this weekend, per their Facebook page. I had one from them last year.
posted by miscbuff at 2:01 PM on September 23

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