Foraging & Making PawPaw Crescent Rolls

I took a drive out to a forest in Pennsylvania with a known spot for foraging wild PawPaw. The broad leaves of the tree give a jungle like feel to the forest and they produce a sweet sugary fruit full of large seeds.  The fruit tastes tropical and similar to a mix of banana and mango!

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My companions as botanists had a secondary goal beyond enjoying the fruit in the shade of the forest. They plan to grow trees from the seed for their own backyards and to share through a native wild plant nursery. We tasted and collected many fruits to find the most choice potential seeds.

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I gathered them gently in a basket hoping to avoid bruising the highly delicate fruit. Along the Way, I found some very large and abundant Spicebush berries.

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and then some Jewelweed seeds that have a taste very similar to walnut.

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With the found and foraged ingredients I wanted to make a pawpaw crescent roll over a campfire. To do so, I made a small fire to have just enough coals to cook over. The goal is to gently bake the crescent but not the pawpaw in a tinfoil pouch. A flipped it after 3 minutes and about 2 more minutes on the other side provided a delicious fruit filled pastry treat..

 

I’ve since planted pawpaw trees and now get to enjoy and share the harvest every autumn!

David Alexander is author of the Buzz Into Action & Hop Into Action Science Curricula.  He specializes in making nature accessible to people and wildlife.  You can follow him at www.natureintoaction.com

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