OHIO Pawpaw Festival September 13, 14, 15, -2013

Ohio Pawpaw
Ohio Pawpaw

About the Festival 

The Ohio Pawpaw Festival is a fun-filled and educational community event celebrating one of America’s largest native tree fruits, the Pawpaw (Asimina triloba). This three-day event highlights the rich history and future possibilities of the pawpaw through delectable foods, quality entertainment, unique arts, crafts and local businesses throughout southeastern Ohio and beyond. Special events at the festival include competitions for the best pawpaw, best pawpaw-related work of art, pawpaw cook-off, and the ever-popular pawpaw-eating contest. An energetic family environment is created by Kids Central, which provides a wide range of hands-on activities. The Main Stage is host to some of the best musicians and performers in our region. A full line-up of presentations and activities cover pawpaw growing, cooking, genetics, medical use and other topics related to sustainability.

The Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area Program. (www.ohiohillcountry.org) serves as the festival’s fiscal agent.  The organization is dedicated to the identification, protection and appropriate development of the natural, cultural, recreational and economic resources that make up Appalachian Ohio to enhance the quality of life of the region’s residents and to welcome visitors to experience the area’s rich heritage, natural beauty and traditions.

What’s a pawpaw?

The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is North America’s largest native tree fruit. The fruit has a wonderful creamy texture and a tropical flavor. Southern Ohio is home to some of the largest and best tasting wild pawpaw patches on the planet. The pawpaw is also super nutritious and historically significant. Come wander the hills and discover why George Washington’s favorite dessert was chilled pawpaw.

Pawpaw stuff, time for me to add a few things

The Kentucky State University website(tremendous amount of stuff) is full of pawpaw information, including an entire page of recipe’s, including this one

Pawpaw Pudding 

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1½ c. bread flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. pawpaw pulp
  • 1½ c. milk
  • ½ c. melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350o F, and grease a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. In the center of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: sugar, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Into a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add and whisk the eggs. Whisk until fully mixed. Whisk and mix in the other wet ingredients: pulp, milk, and butter. Pour and scrape the batter into the baking dish and bake 50 minutes. To test for doneness, slide a toothpick into the center of the pudding, and it should come out clean. Like custard, if you jiggle the pan, the center should be set.

Serving: Cut the pudding into squares, and serve it with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, hard sauce, or crème anglaise.

  • The NPR site has a vide on the pawpaw and a guy who is framing and marketing the fruit, it’s a nice little primer on the fruit.
  • Here’s the Purdue fact sheet on the Pawpaw, lots of solid info, of course, from the Purdue site
  • Here’s an even more informative video on the pawpaw by Ken from Oikos Tree Crops, worth a watch

Ohio Department of Natural Resources(ODNR) has this to say, really good page — 

Pawpaw is found throughout all of Ohio and most of the Eastern United States except for New England and much of Florida. It is a native understory or woodland edge tree, often found in moist places such as the bottoms of ravines, steep hillsides, and creek banks.

One tree often gives rise over the course of decades to a sprawling colony via its root system, which suckers several feet away from the parent tree.

This small tree is easily recognized by its large, tropical-looking foliage, and prized for its delicious fruits that mature in late summer. When found in the open, it may reach 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide as an individual tree. As a member of the Annona Family, it is related to other species of Pawpaw as well as other genera in this family (all tropical or subtropical in origin) and distantly related to the Magnolias and Tuliptree.



From the Ohio State Extension page — 

This native Ohio plant can be found in bloom in woodlands across central Ohio at this time.  However, if one doesn’t know what to look for, it’s easy to miss this incredible flower. When the bud begins to swell, it’s a beautiful, velvety emerald green color.  As it expands, the bud turns to a deep burgundy, and then opens into the burgundy-purplish rosette flower.  However, they are held so tightly to the stems and so well camouflaged and that one has to look up when walking through the pawpaw patch.

This short understory tree grows to around 15-20′ tall and about as wide.  It’s best planted in a woodland or at the edge of the woods.  The large, droopy green leaves turn a nice golden yellow in the fall.  The greenish-yellow fruits ripen to a brownish-black that many enjoy.  The texture is somewhat like a very over-ripe banana, which is why others don’t enjoy!  There must be at least 2 genetically different pawpaw trees for pollination to occur.  Pawpaws grow in colonies, with one tree sending out many sprouts from the roots.  This appears as many trees, but it’s genetically one tree.  Plant another genetic strain in order to facilitate pollination.

pawpaw fruit

According to Wiki

Asimina triloba, the pawpawpaw pawpaw-paw, or common pawpaw, is a species of Asimina (the pawpaw genus) in the same plant family (the Annonaceae) as the custard-applecherimoyasweetsop,ylang-ylang and soursop. The pawpaw is native to the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern United Statesand adjacent southernmost OntarioCanada, from New York west to southeastern Nebraska, and south to northern Florida and eastern Texas.[1][2] The pawpaw is a patch-forming (clonal) understory tree found in well-drained, deep, fertile bottom-land and hilly upland habitat, with large, simple leaves and large fruits. The paw paw is the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States.

How To Get To The Festival

The Ohio Pawpaw Festival is held at Lake Snowden near Albany, which is located about six miles west of Athens on US 50/SR 32. It is about 2 hours from Columbus, 3 hours from Cincinnati and 4 hours from Cleveland.

Traveling from the north
Take US 33 south into Athens. As you approach Athens, stay on US 33 , which merges with the bypass of US 50 W/SR 32 W. Follow US 50 W/SR 32 W heading toward Albany. Look for signs for Lake Snowden Drive, and turn right into the park area.

Traveling from the south
Take US 33 heading northwest toward Athens. As you enter Athens, look for signs for US 50 W/SR 32 W. There will be a BP gas station on the right, and another gas station on the left. Turn left here on Albany Road, which will put you on US 50 W/SR 32 W. Follow US 50 W/SR 32 W heading toward Albany. Look for signs for Lake Snowden Drive, and turn right into the park area.

Traveling from the east

Follow US 50/SR 32, heading west toward Athens. As you enter Athens, you will get on the bypass around the city (US 33/US 50 W/SR 32 W). Follow US 50 W/SR 32 W heading toward Albany. Look for signs for Lake Snowden Drive, and turn right into the park area.

Traveling from the west
Take US 50/SR 32 heading east toward Athens. About a mile or two south of Albany, turn left onto Lake Snowden Drive into the park.

Festival Address

Lake Snowden
5900 US 50
Albany, OH 45710

Contact Info

Ohio Pawpaw Festival
9794 Chase Road
Albany, Ohio 45710
(740) 698-6060

The 2013 Pawpaw Fanatic Sponsors

Amanda Buchanan Integration Acres Snowville Creamery
The Athens Real Estate Company Athens County Visitor's Bureau
Kevin Morgan Studio
The Athens News Budweiser Offic of Sustainability
Ohio's Hill Country Heritage Area

There’s gonna be food of course, music and lots of other great activities, but even better than that –


These Ohio craft breweries will be providing unique and refreshing beers.

Weasel Boy Brewing Company
from Zanesville, Ohio

  • Pawpaw Pale Ale
    English-style pale ale as a base with a generous amount of Ohio-harvested pawpaw added for a great fruity aroma and a banana/mango-like flavor.
    (4% ABV)

Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery
from Athens, Ohio

  • Pawpaw Wheat
    Strong pawpaw character in a straw-colored American wheat beer with a crisp dry finish.
    (9% ABV)
Buckeye Brewing Company
from Cleveland, Ohio

  • Pawpaw Wheat
    Wheat-based ale with a fresh, delicate pawpaw aroma.  Finishes fairly dry, very easy to drink.
    (6% ABV)

Athens Do It Yourself Shop
from Athens, Ohio

  • Kegs of non-alcoholic pawpaw soda
Athens County’s own Classic Brands will have Yuengling, Budweiser & Bud Light on tap. Budweiser
Thirsty Dog

  • Pawpaw Saison
    This pawpaw-infused Saison has all of the peppery, bubblegum spiciness that you’d expect from a Saison. Then when the pawpaw’s subtle pearlike, apricoty, mango-ish flavors and aromas blend with it, you have a flavorful, medium-bodied beer that is sure to please. ABV 8.5%


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