The Pocket Pawpaw Cookbook by Sara Bir

What’s a pawpaw you ask? It’s a fruit, and also a challenge, locus of folklore and desire. A variant of the “custard apple” family, pawpaws exude a tropical air but grow wild north of Florida, east of the Mississippi, and south of Canada found in the fleeting, honeyed weeks between August and October. They are fleshy and awkward to to eat, sweetly fragrant, and do not travel well at all. They are beloved by foragers, keepers of regional food traditions, and anyone seeking relief from the industrial food chain. In The Pocket Pawpaw Cookbook, Sara Bir sets the humble pawpaw center stage, with detailed information on how to harvest, source, store, and―of course―cook with these uniquely Midwestern delicacies. Here you’ll find recipes for pawpaw cornbread and pawpaw pudding; key lime pawpaw cheesecake and banana-pawpaw ketchup. Sidebars address questions as varied as “where can I buy frozen pawpaws?” and “how do I use pawpaw in a cocktail?” Written with humor and love for a curious subject, The Pocket Pawpaw Cookbook will inspire you to experiment in the kitchen and get out into the woods. With an introduction by Alexis Nikole Nelson, TikTok star and @blackforager.