How to Tell When Pawpaws Are Ripe

The largest native fruit to North America, the Pawaaw has a custard-like texture and a sweet, tropical flavor. But, to fully enjoy this fruit, you must eat it when it’s at peak ripeness. Ideally, Pawpaws are picked slightly underripe, this allows you to get to them before they drop and critters eat them.

When it's time to pick Pawpaws in the Fall, shake the tree slightly; if some fall off, it's time to pick. To ripen them the rest of the way I just leave them out on the counter. 

To tell if Pawpaws are ripe, the skin will turn from green to yellowish brown depending on the variety. The blemishes of the fruit will also start to show more, The Pawpaw will also soften quite a bit, similar to a ripe avocado. The fruit will also have a sweet tropical smell. Another way to check is to cut one open, if the fruit has a soft creamy texture and sweet flavor, it is ripe.

Remember not to eat the skin or seeds from a pawpaw. 

Once fully ripe, you can eat them fresh or use them in various recipes, such as smoothies, ice cream, or baked goods.